Memory is a beautiful thing. I put together an eighty-page book, recording the photographic record of our Alaskan Cruise in 2017 celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary. The process itself allowed me to re-live the entire trip. While it was certainly a lot of work (culling around 2,000 pictures and putting them in a chronological narrative), the experience made the task a real joy. I joked to Tina that, hopefully, even when our memory began to fail, the book would help us remember this once-in-a-lifetime trip.
My comment, however, reveals the other side of memory – the tragedy of forgetfulness. I’m known for my absent mindedness. I tend to be so focused on a task that I can forget the other things I have temporarily moved to the periphery. While embarrassing, I would not really describe such lapses as “tragic.”
We have seen the tragedy of forgetfulness, though, in many of our older friends and family members. Sometimes our brains age faster than our bodies and a lifetime of precious memories slowly slip away.
We have seen the tragedy of forgetfulness in many due to neglect. Sometimes we forget to acknowledge those who have helped us. It is said that, as a culture, we have lost the art of writing thank you notes. I believe it is more than that: we are living in a culture of entitlement where people believe they deserve the kind generosity and gifts of others. They see it as their “right.”
This contributes to the greatest tragedy of forgetfulness — when we deliberately refuse to acknowledge the goodness of others. This is a faithless forgetfulness. God’s people have often been guilty of being faithless in their recognition of God’s gifts. In fact, there are stern warnings against it.
Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God…
12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down…
14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God….
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”
18 But remember the LORD your God….
I’ll say more in my lesson.