“Not that I’d go back, I wouldn’t.
Even if I could, I couldn’t.
I’ve invested too much time forgetting
To remember what it was
I set out to forget.”
Rod McKuen, Poet
There was a time in my life (and probably yours, too) when memory was easy. Good at names, I had a particular knack for phone numbers, too. I still remember phone numbers I dial, some from long ago, but names escape me seconds after meeting someone.
I forget what I’m supposed to remember and only remember that I forgot while trying to remember what I forgot. Confusing, isn’t it? Couldn’t I just remember to remember?
Then, there are people, some friends, who blurt out things I’m trying to forget. Embarrassments are best left where they happened. I’m confused about when and what to remember and when and what to forget.
I had a preacher once who, for his memory, remembered a regular dose of Gingko Biloba not knowing whether or not any improvement followed. He was afraid to give it up because he didn’t want his memory to get worse. Fearing the conundrum, I’ve decided to forget it.
Puzzlement continues to hammer me over another human problem. Existing in my observations about life is a difference between the “supposed-to” I expect and the “what is” I perceive, splaying a divide insufficient to attenuate the difference. Psychologists and philosophers attempt explanation but their “why’s” fall short and all I’m left with are questions. Spilling into that span are those bright surprising moments when the supposed-to’s actually happen. Aren’t supposed-to’s supposed to?
My problem in this divide is I do not want to forget Christ. And how many ways do I forget Him? Maybe I forget when I get busy with all the wrong things, when I do good things motivated by the wrong reasons or when I attempt to earn salvation willing good behavior to impress.
My perplexed, forgetful, disobedient self reveals who I really am. And this is what has to be worked out. Plato said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” The problem with this is not the examination but the person doing the exam. The paradox cages me.
Christ came to change me from the man I am to the man He wishes me to be. And how shall this unfold? Simply allowing God to examine my life and remembering when grace comes, the Trinity wedges its way into my memory. The thought is powerful and humbling. For this, I need Him. By this, He shows His love for me. In this, I remember Him.
Opening my heart and mind to His leading through His word each day, allowing His Holy Spirit to honestly reveal to me who I am and who I need to be, somewhere in the divide between supposed-to and what is, He remembers me.
Who forgets that?
“Those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15, NKJV).