Our topic for August is Memory. Mine hasn’t been holding up well lately in some areas. I’ll walk from one room to the next and forget why I was going where I was going. I’ll start a sentence and blank out before I get to the point I was trying to make. I’ll recite a number several times to get it into my head, and by the time I get to the phone to dial or the Excel worksheet to type it in, I’ve forgotten what it was.
I’ll sign up for a blog chain date and then forget I’m doing the blog chain and should be reading other people’s posts and preparing my own.
Yet I can vividly remember dreams I had years ago, or the feel of a boyfriend’s kiss when I haven’t been kissed that way by anyone for over 20 years.
Memory is like a feather in a hurricane sometimes, while at others it can sit on the mind and heart like a concrete slab. Scientific studies have determined that as we age, short term memory is the first to suffer while long-term memory remains intact for more of our lives.
That’s why I can forget what I was about to do or say, or what I had for breakfast a day ago, while remembering that I used the liner notes of a Men at Work cassette to write my address for my college boyfriend when we first met (that was in the days before everyone had a phone attached to their person and email was something only the Pentagon and major university researchers were using).
These days, lists and calendars and the contact book in my cell phone are my friends. They keep me mindful of the things I need to remember. I had a reminder about today’s post written on the calendar that hangs over my desk; otherwise I would have forgotten to write it.
Some things are worth remembering – the delight of a child at Christmas, the love of friends and family, the feeling of accomplishment when you meet a goal (like publishing your first book). Others should be forgotten – the guilt and shame of past sins (if you have accepted Christ as your Lord), the embarrassment or anger of past failings, the offense of past hurts. Some things need to be left to die and fade away so that we can live the abundant life Jesus promised us.
“Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” – Phil. 3:12-14
Now, that – God’s Word – is something definitely worth remembering and allowing to rest on your heart. It’s no concrete slab; it’s the wings that will allow you to fly above life’s hurricanes.
How about you? What do you remember most easily, and what do you forget too easily?
Speaking of which, I was about to pay an insurance bill when I remembered this; better do it before I forget again…