(this is a meditative thought from my studies in the Book of Deuteronomy, chapters 4-10)
I have a neighbor who had her grandfather living with her for a while. Occasionally, the grandfather would forget what he was doing, or where he was (or even who he was) and sneak out of the house at night. My wife and I would look out the window and see our friends frantically going up and down the street looking for him. How awful.
I have also heard of couples who have gotten into major fights because one of the couple (typically the man) forgot their anniversary. To the wife in those situations, her mind would connect the dots like this: “if he has forgotten such an important date then, I don’t really matter to him that much.”
Forgetting can be painful and can bring many negative consequences.
How does it make you feel when others forget about you, or something you did?
Why is it that we forget anything? It would seem that the biggest reason is because its not important enough to us; our attention to it can be replaced by something else.
So, when it comes to our spiritual walk, maybe it would be helpful to think of it like this–think of driving.
When we start off driving, we know the rules of the road and pay attention to them. We’ve been taught to keep our hands at “10 and 2” on the steering wheel, but then, when we get older, we get careless and over-confident, and pretty soon, we are driving with only 1 hand (and sometimes, just a knee).
Could this “careless and over confident” issue also apply to our spiritual life?
We have already talked about the Biblical Study principle of repetition. When something is repeated in the Bible, it tends to be important. For example, the word, “Holy” in Isaiah 6, or Revelation 5- is mentioned 3 X in each of these chapters. Having something repeated 2 times is worth paying attention to, like in John 5:24 & 8:58 when Jesus says, “truly, truly…. “. But when something is mentioned 3 times, then there is something really of importance to pay attention to.
Interestingly enough in just these seven chapters in Deut.(4-10), we can
observe another subject that is repeated often—“forgetting and remembering”. Six times, the word “remember” is mentioned, and eight times, “forgetting” is mentioned. I get the feeling with that kind of repetition, there is some kind of point that God wants us to understand:
Remembering- 4:10, 5:15, 7:18, 8:2, 9:7, 9:27
Forgetting – 4:9, 4:23, 4:31, 6:12, 8:11, 8:14, 8:19, 9:7
– there are no shortcuts to experiencing the benefits of “remembering” and “not forgetting”—you just need to do it.
– take time to allow God to help you remember (maybe that’s one reason why He encouraged us to take one day a week as a day of rest and reflection)
– make a list of important times in your life when God has helped you experience His life—get in the habit of journaling these occurrences of God’s activities in your life and write them down as “memorial stones” to remember and testify of His goodness and working in your life
-read your Bible regularly so that you will be able to know Bible stories
and teachings from His Word, as well as to better understand the character of
God to help support you as you do life.
-Lastly, be watchful that when times are good, you do not forget your God. It can be an easy trap to fall into that you begin to forget about God’s goodness in your life, including those people He has put in your life who have helped you be where you are at today.