Now Featured in the Patheos Book Club
As I Recall
Discovering the Place of Memories in Our Spiritual Life
By Casey Tygrett
Why did you decide to write about memories as spiritual formation?
In working as a spiritual director and pastor, I’m often helping people sift through their memories. My experiences in church leadership also suggest that we can understand interpersonal or leadership conflicts best by understanding a person’s backstory, the experiences and stories that fill their memories. My motivation was to help give context to and highlight the importance of our memories to both our understanding of ourselves as well as our present and future formation into Christlikeness. I wanted to create an invitation to explore our memories alongside of the stories and themes of the Scriptures to find places where God was, is, and will be at work.
What need are you addressing in As I Recall?
The need I’m addressing is especially relevant in a world where Google search results rarely go back further than two years. We are a very present and future-focused world, often forgetting that what is happening now has happened in one form or another before. There is nothing new under the sun, as the Teacher says. We have to put our lives and formation into a bigger context and often that context comes from our memories. The need is for us to engage those memories with God, make sense of them, and realize how every memory matters and is a gift to our formation.
What is the message at the heart of this book?
There is no formation in Christ without our memories, because our memories are the foundational blocks of the stories and scripts by which we live. Understanding and engaging our memories with Jesus is our best way of being fully formed people within the skin we’re in.
What are some key points you hope to convey to readers in As I Recall?
- Memories are key to our formation.
- Our memories help define our vocation (Exodus).
- Memories are the raw material for wisdom (Deuteronomy).
- Our emotions rise out of our memories (Psalms).
- Jesus’ actions at the last meal with his disciples help give structure to our memories (the Gospels) and hope for our future (Revelation).