Mar 25, 2007

Vail Vision March 25, 2007

Remember when...

Harvard Medical School is conducting very intriguing research into human memory. Many soldiers, when returning home from war, experience Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, or PTSD. In advanced cases, the memories of war are so profound, soldiers have a hard time coping with them. This condition is not new; it has always been a part of war. But since the Vietnam War, a name and medical diagnosis has been attached to it.

This is where Harvard Medical School comes in. Their researchers are experimenting with mind-altering drugs. The hope is to eliminate the memories of a traumatic event. Using this drug, the patient focuses on a traumatic event and slowly begins to forget it. One can see how desirable this would be. A soldier could fight in a war and then forget about some of the horrible incidents. It could make coming back home and resuming life a lot easier.

But this brings up some very challenging ethical concerns. What exactly constitutes a human personality? Is it better to work through memories? Isn't that who we are? Or is it better to eliminate bad memories altogether? From a Christian standpoint, traumatic events cause us to seek answers from Scripture and to seek strength from the Holy Spirit. Does eliminating the memory reduce the need for God? Or is there plenty of evil in the world that forces us to seek Him?

Personally, I have seen the power of God at work in the traumatic events in my life. It is when I have relied on Him to work through these events that I have grown in my faith. I agree with James, Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops endurance. (James 1:2-3). But then again, I have never fought in a war.

I don't know how this drug will be received. What I do know is that God has overcome the suffering in our lives. In His darkest hour, Christ took upon Himself all of the trauma of the world. And because He did, we shall live with Him forever. There will be no trials, no war, and no tribulation. We shall finally understand every event in our lives from God's perspective. And all of our memories will bring only peace, joy and happiness - regardless of how we were able to cope with them in this life.


David Hook

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