Shortly after my prayer's, "Amen!" a sudden flurry of thoughts about a great message for Heartlight popped into my head. Rolling the ideas around in my mind, I was suddenly excited about these great insights and the great article they would inspire. I tried to place a few memory cues to help me retrieve the idea in the morning, then fell fast asleep.
Now looking back, I'm sure that the article and ideas must have been great ones, but for the life of me, I couldn't tell you what they were. Despite trying the memory cues, going over what I had been doing as I got into bed, reviewing the things that I had done that day, and even rehearsing the prayer I prayed that night, I have not been able to grab hold of those thoughts. I simply forgot them. I can't remember what they were.
I forget things quite frequently. This is not a new problem, but one I've had all my life. I've learned all sorts of tricks to set aside memory cues and to use memory trigger points to help me recall things. They work most of the time. Sometimes, however, what I wanted to remember is gone ... forgotten ... never to return to me again. Having worked with many people over the years, I've learned that I have a lot of company with this memory problem. (If you don't think you have this problem, then I would kindly suggest that you've forgotten that you've forgotten a bunch of stuff!)
We human beings are a forgetful lot. This is especially true with memory of God and the many things he has done to bless us. So we shouldn't be surprised that one of the most powerfully convicting books in the Old Testament stresses that God's people must not forget what the Almighty has done for them and remember all they have comes from him. (12 times God warns his people not to forget him and 22 times God challenges them to remember all he has done!)
Knowing that we are forgetful people, God built into our lives, faith events that stir our memory and re-awaken us to his ongoing presence and work. During the Old Testament times, he gave his people the yearly pilgrimage feasts. Many of the people would journey to Jerusalem and take part in rituals, celebrations, and activities where they would re-live the great acts of God's deliverance. Today, God has given us the Lord's Supper and baptism as regular reminders and opportunities to re-live the center of his saving work — Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection and to remind us that he will return in glory.
So the next time you forget something, please remember how easy it is to forget what is most important to you. Make a conscious effort to go back and rehearse, remember, and re-live the great acts of God in your life. Don't lose your spiritual passion in the sea of forgetfulness or the sloth of not intentionally remembering the greatness and goodness of our Father.
Watch out! Be very careful never to forget what you have seen the LORD do for you. Do not let these things escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. (Deuteronomy 4:9 NLT)
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