I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook's "On This Day" feature. Love because "On This Day" remembers beautiful, cherished memories I might otherwise forget. When I click on the events of this day years ago I nearly always find an encouraging picture or quote. I may have forgotten it but "On This Day" never forgets.
And that's partly the trouble.
"On This Day" never forgets one single day's posting. It flawlessly recalls not only my good days but every dark, sad day filled with pathetic musings. "On This Day" reminds me of pieces of my past I'd rather forget. Even the people I'd rather not revisit are not off-limits.
"On This Day" doesn't have a filter or sensor to shield me from the memories I don't want to remember. It displays in living color the good, the bad and the ugly. And on December 9, 2008 it displayed something very ugly indeed.
On December ninth nine years ago to the day I was eighteen years old and a freshman away at college. It was just a week before finals and I was feeling terrible. A trip the school nurse confirmed my fears. I was diagnosed with mononucleosis.
When she broke the news I remember telling her it couldn't be true. I hadn't kissed anyone so how could I have the "kissing disease"? When the nurse suspected I had shared a straw I admitted to being guilty as charged.
These memories wouldn't have come to mind on this particular day but for Facebook's "On This Day" feature. It is all thanks to my social media account's memory that I was reminded of this day in my history and and how significantly it changed my life.
Since this day nine years ago when the school nurse delivered her diagnosis my health has never been the same. I have never been fully healthy again. Brewing in my body were infections and their co-infections. Symptoms were developing and disease was spreading but I was blissfully unaware of the suffering to come.
Now as I look back on this day nine years ago I can see the crossroads I came to in my life on that cold Tuesday morning. It was alone on the nurse's examination table that I was told for the very first time that I was in ill health. But it wouldn't be the last. For the past nine years my life has been full of troubling health reports. Everyone from doctors and nurses to health gurus and complete strangers have made bleak pronouncements about my body's physical condition. It all began nine years ago with mono on December 9, 2008, a watershed moment that changed my life.
As I look back to those many years ago it makes me wonder, what is happening right now that will be significant later? What Facebook post will prove life changing nine years in the future?
The mystery of God's design for life is that it doesn't come with an "On This Day" in the future feature. My understanding can only look back on the past and see a sliver of how it has impacted the present. I cannot even begin to see the magnitude of significance the present will have on the future. God alone knows the true importance of this day. He alone knows the part it will play in shaping my tomorrow and my life nine years in the future.
All God tells me about the future is not to worry about it. My only duty is to live surrendered to Christ and united with His righteousness in the here and now. Today, on this very day, I am instructed to make decisions that are pleasing to God. He will take care of my future as I follow in the footsteps of Jesus.