Most of us fear becoming forgetful in our final years. When we don’t remember a fact or a face we wonder if this is the beginning of the feared decline.
The Bible and Remembering
The Bible stresses the importance of remembering. Memorials were set up when the Jordan was crossed and when God helped his people in battle. (Joshua 4; 1 Samuel 4)
Jewish people were to teach their children what God had done to bring them out of slavery and into the Promised Land. (Deuteronomy 4; 11)
Even in the dark moments after the Fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians the writer of Lamentations told the people to remember and put their trust in God. (Lamentations 3:19-26)
Remembering in our lives
Our finiteness tends to make us self-centered and present-centered. We focus on ourselves and now. This narrow focus often leads to forget many good things in our lives.
We can move ourselves away from this narrowness by keeping a list of the good things in our lives. If we keep a prayer diary this would be an obvious part of it. Many of my friends have the discipline of sharing three daily blessings on Facebook.
We can also broaden ourselves chronologically and geographically. We good place to start would be a Shelley’s Church History in Plain Language. It is a clear and accurate overview of Christian history. A second place book would be Operation World. This book lists the countries of the world and the status of Christians there. A friend of mine prays through the front section of the newspaper each day. He prays for the issues and people mentioned.
We need to broaden ourselves. We need to monitor how we spend our time, our money, even our prayer time, to see if we are moving beyond the me and the now.
We must never forget our place
In a 1676 letter Isaac Newton wrote, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Various forms of this statement preceded Newton.
Our lives are part of a relay race of growth and service.
There are three parts to a relay race: taking the baton, running with the baton, and passing the baton to the next runner. We must succeed in all three parts.
Who has mentored you and invested in your life?
Who are you investing in to carry on after you have died?
How do you move your thinking away from the me and now?
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