The memories are too painful to remember, but too important to forget. I can choose to allow my memories to crush me or to remind me that this world is not my home. What I need to do on Black Friday is renew my commitment to stay changed by my experience.
When the world says, "Hurry! Buy! You need this! You want this! You won't have a good Christmas without this!" I can refuse to get caught up in the frenzy of temporary things and remember that the important things are things I can't buy, can't see, and can't wrap. Instead of watching the commercials and reading the advertisements I can read God's word and refuse to be distracted by the things of this world.
Yesterday I read in 1 Peter that since Christ suffered, we need to be prepared to suffer as well. And that he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. After you have suffered, "You won't spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God." (4:2) Staying changed is hard. It's easy to go back to chasing my own desires. It's easy to self-medicate my pain with food, activity, or more stuff. It's my nature. But for me Black Friday is not a day to get more stuff, to eat too much, or to distract myself with frenzied activity. It is a reminder to focus on the unseen eternal and press on.