by Christine Sine
Memory is tied to commitment or the lack thereof. We are often reminded in scripture of our penchant towards forgetfulness.
This quote from Tony Petrotta’s Lenten article in Radix magazine last spring really caught my attention this week. Yes I know I am a little late reading it, but I feel that it has a lot to say to us no matter what the season.
Petrotta goes on to quote from Psalm 106
Our ancestors in Egypt
were not impressed by the Lord’s miraculous deeds.
They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them.
Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea.[
The whole Psalm seems to be a litany of the forgetfulness of the Israelites and the commitment of God. They forgot God’s miracles and kindness towards them; they forgot God’s instructions; they forgot God’s promise to care for them; they forgot the God who had saved them. Wow! That is quite a litany of forgetfulness, yet in spite of that God remembered them and the covenant God had made with them.
What Have I Forgotten of My Commitment to God?
Reading through Psalm 106 today made me wonder how short my memory is and what of my commitment to God I have forgotten?
Remembering is not always a happy process that I talked about in my post Meditation Monday – Remember When. Yet it is important for us to look back and remember the pain and forgetfulness as well as the joy. And looking at the list of things the Israelites forgot is a good place to start as we look back:
What miracles and kindness has God shown towards you that you have forgotten?
Where have you forgotten God’s instructions and what are the consequences in your life that you have tended to blame God for?
When have you forgotten God’s promise to care for you and worried and lived in anxiety as a result?
When have you forgotten God’s salvation in your life?
When Have I Forgotten God’s Commitment to Me?
Petrotta reminds us that:
In remembering we are reminded of God’s priorities and prompted to respond…. If we remember rightly, we also need to face the memories in which we acted not Christ-like, but more Christ-less.
When have you forgotten God’s covenant with you, God’s priorities and the promise of God’s steadfast love?
What memories have you come face to face with that show Christlessness rather than Christlikeness? Are there ways that God would ask you to respond?
Asking myself these questions this week has been a cleansing process. I have experienced what Petrotta says”
Remembering softens our hearts so that we may once again be open to experiencing God with a thirst and hunger for the things of God.
As I engaged in this exercise I was reminded of the chapter in The Gift of Wonder on remembering where I talk what I learned from John Medina’s fascinating book Brain Rules for Aging Well:
reminiscing increases our social connectedness and sense of fulfillment in our accomplishments as positive memories rise to the surface. When we immerse ourselves in memories of our younger selves we become healthy, our aches and pains are reduced, weight and posture improve, and our dexterity increases. Even our eyesight gets better. (The Gift of Wonder 39)
I think that this is one of the reasons that remembering is so important – it not only strengthens us spiritually, it strengthens us physically and emotionally as well.
So lets jump to another Psalm for advice here:
I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; I will remember your wonders of old. I will meditate on all your words and muse on your mighty deeds (Psalm 77:11, 12)
Let’s do some meditating this week on the mighty deeds of God. Let’s take time to do a bit of remembering.