Always Remember… That Way You’ll Never Forget.
Where would I be without the reminder app on my phone? Thanks, Siri, for helping me keep my appointments and my word to people. I used to think I had a great memory. I could easily recall license plate numbers I had seen, phone numbers, birth dates, etc. Now you’re lucky if I remember your name. My wife can attest to the fact that I forget important details. It seems my memory has gotten worse. Good thing I have my phone with a calendar, contact list, to-do list, Google search, etc.
Is it possible this technology is part of why my memory is declining? This article seems to think so: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2510053/How-Google-rotting-memories-Young-people-today-worse-memories-parents.html
Or is it that technology has been developed to help us with our already existing problem of poor memory? Humans have always been horrible at retaining information… and Scripture is proof of that. Think about the Israelites. After being eye witnesses of God powerfully sending plague after plague upon the Egyptians, miraculously splitting the waters of the Red Sea so they could pass through on dry land, and seeing His loving power lead them out of slavery from their captives and give them victory over multiple enemies, they continuously forgot. Every time. And it didn’t take long. Judges 8:34, “And the people of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies on every side”.
If only the Israelites had Siri to set up daily reminders of God’s goodness. This other article, http://www.thewire.com/technology/2011/07/google-making-us-stupid-and-smart-same-time/40007/, claims technology isn’t making us more forgetful, but that we’re simply transferring our deposits of information to other sources. It used to be that we needed to write things down, carry around day planners, and probe our friends and families for information we had forgotten. Way back in the day people wrote songs and told stories to remember something of importance and pass down to future generations. We have always been a forgetful people. Now, we have Google in our pocket so we don’t have to think or look too hard for answers.
We’re no different when it comes to remembering who God is, what He has done through Jesus, and who we are now because of that. Why is that? Especially with something as important as the Good News of salvation and life, shouldn’t we be better at remembering this?!? The problem, I believe, is we are short-sighted creatures. And our desire for satisfaction is just as short-sighted as our memories are.
How can we overcome this? Could the power of technology be redeemed and used to help us remember the goodness of our God? Quite possibly so! But even more important, I believe we are called to remember in the ways God’s people have always been called to remind one another what He has done - through song, story, rhythms, and celebrations. The Lord commanded Israel to have feasts and celebrations each year to remind themselves and future generations of how He had saved them. He gave them rites and rituals to keep the truth of creation and the Creator before them. They crafted songs, poems, and prayers which became communal and continuous to remember the story of God’s saving power.
This is why we go to great lengths to make sure our songs are not just emotional or poppy, or that they fit with the popular songs of the day, but that they remind us of the Gospel. This is why we share evidences of grace each Sunday we gather together, to remind us of how God is still currently at work in His world. This is why we regularly sit under the preaching of the Word, to remind us of the True Story of the world that we live in.
What practices have you set in place to remind yourself of the Lord?
2 Peter 1:12-15, “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.”