I originally wrote this June of 2008, but I've been thinking a lot about it this New Years. I've been slowly awakening over the past several months after a two year soul sleep. And as much as I want to live in the freedom and fullness that I once enjoyed with Christ, it's a struggle each morning to remember that's where I want to be when so many other things are calling out to me. I forget. Each day I forget. Maybe even every three minutes I forget.
We are a forgetful people. I've been thinking about our tendency to forget. I saw an older movie the first time recently, Memento. In it, the main character has a disorder that affects his memory. He can’t remember anything for longer than three minutes or so. But he’s got a very important purpose—He wants to find the man who killed his wife—the last thing he remembers. Of course, each morning when he wakes up he can’t remember his purpose or the new things he’s learned without leaving himself daily reminders.
He tattoos messages on his body, he leaves himself notes, and he takes pictures to remind him of the important things so that each day he’ll know what is true, who he can trust, and what he should be about so that he won’t be deceived or distracted from his mission.
In a way, we all have this disorder—we forget our purpose, forget what we’ve learned, forget what we should be about. When we wake each morning, our first thoughts are selfish and we need to be reminded of what we know is true, reminded of what we learned the day before and the day before that. The distractions of life make us forget. We are deceived into thinking other things are more important. Then we waste our time and resources on pursuits that are meaningless. We need reminders.
John Eldredge makes this observation in The Journey of Desire, “I wake most mornings an unbeliever. It seems that during the night I slip into forgetfulness and by the time the new day comes, I am lost. The deep and precious truths that God has brought me to over the years and even just yesterday seem a thousand miles away.” He says he’s got a section in his journal of central truths he must return to each morning.
What are the things you need to remember? What are you doing each day to help you remember?
“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.” Deuteronomy 4:9
I started my own list of truths to remember back then. This New Years I'm making a new list to wake to. Here's just a few...
- I am loved!
- God's grace is sufficient for me
- God is actively working to transform me
- I was made to know God and make Him known
- This is not as good as it gets!
- Hulu is the devil ;)
What's on your list? Wanna get matching tattoos?