Jump directly to the Content

Preserving My Unedited Thoughts

Reality, however harsh, is preferable to sweetened memories.

It could become a sermon: William Bulger, President of the University of Massachusetts, is a controversial New Englander to say the least. He is very, very smart. For example he gave a large part of his presidential inaugural address in Latin. Should I have been in his place, I'd have been happy to give my speech in reasonably good English.

Bulger, the Boston Globe says, once wrote: "The older we get, it seems, the more wondrous becomes the theater of our memory. It is often suffused with a merciful magic that smoothes the rough edges of the past."

Embedded in that beautiful prose is a provocative truth: our memories are not that reliable. Perhaps each of us possesses an internal editor who rewrites the stories of our pasts so that we can more conveniently live with them. My editor is amazing. He makes my past achievements look better, my past sins seem less onerous, and my past decisions more rational.

This internal editor of mine is more elusive than Osama bin Laden. He has the infinite ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

What Would St. Francis Say Today?
What Would St. Francis Say Today?
You grow in grace by following a follower of Jesus.
From the Magazine
God Wanted Me When the Foster-Care System Didn’t
God Wanted Me When the Foster-Care System Didn’t
I bounced from home to home before finding the Father my heart yearned for.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.