Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Do Not Forget

How many times a day do you say, or hear, "I forgot"? If your estimate has two or even three figures, or if you groaned at the very question--you're probably a typical hardworking American. It sometimes seems that for every megabyte of memory increase in the average computer's brain, the average human brain loses two. Someone somewhere is no doubt trying to blame this seeming increase in dementia on pollutants dumped into our drinking water; but a far more likely explanation is that we allow the world to dump too much information into our brains and too many responsibilities onto our shoulders. When you have 100,000 things to remember, it's hard not to forget some of it.

Many of us aren't even trying to remember things--we rely on our books, computers, and Day Planners to do that. It usually works, providing we don't forget the planner itself. Ask the businessman who loses the time, place, and contact information for that vital appointment it took him eight months to secure; or, worse, who forgot to check his calendar before agreeing to that appointment and now finds he had already reserved that time slot for his most important--and impatient--client. We tend to find out at the worst possible moments the folly of putting too much faith in material aids.

Speaking of misplaced faith: how many of us are making an effort to remember the really important things? My church's last pastor had the habit of telling the congregation, "You don't know the books of the Bible but you know this or that news or pop culture trivia item." I fumed whenever he said that because I was always the exception who knew the former but not the latter--but sadly, the accusation, or its close relative "you don't know ten Scripture verses by heart," would be valid with many a believer. It's sad because another reason why we forget things is that we really don't consider them worth the effort of remembering.

That Bible that not enough Christians know much of talks a lot about the risks of forgetting what God has done for us. There are few worse signs of base ingratitude--and few more effective killers of hope.

"Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God" (Dt. 8:11, NIV).

Do not forget, in times of plenty,
All that you have is from the Lord,
Or you will fall to pride, turn idle,
And come to lose your best reward.

Do not forget, in times of hunger,
One does not live by bread alone,
But by God's Word and all He teaches,
And that He loves you as His own.

Do not forget, in times of boredom,
Blessings God brings are new each day;
Do not forget, when all seems frantic,
God will give time for rest and play.

Do not forget, through all your lifetime,
Whatever comes, God cares for you;
He, past this life, has great things waiting
For all who served Him pure and true.

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