Why am I so forgetful? How many times a month, a week or even a day do I find myself saying, I forgot? How about you, do you utter that statement too? Does it matter if we forget?
Benjamin Shaw says, “We live in a funny age. Some people have telephone landlines. But they mostly use them to call their cell phone because they have forgotten where they left it. And they need the cell phone because it has an app that helps them find their car keys, for they have forgotten where they put their car keys.”
Sound familiar? Just this past week I pulled up to a friend’s house to pick her up. When I reached for my cell phone to text her to let her know I had arrived, I discovered I forgot my pone. Again.
I get so frustrated when I forget something. What a time waster. I can think of so many examples; going to the store and coming home without the one thing I went after. Or what about forgetting to pay a bill before the due date? And one of my favorites going to another room to get something and forgetting what I am after by the time I get there.
While these examples are annoying being forgetful about following through on something you promised to do can have much greater consequences.
Quite a few years ago I did just that and the results were rather painful. We were having a work night at the church I grew up in. I don’t remember what the project was but I remember what happened like it was yesterday.
About a week before the scheduled night a friend who I had worked side by side in ministry with for many years asked me if I could pick her up because her car was not running. I told her I would be more than happy to do so.
The date arrived, and while I was busy at church working on the project someone came into the room. They asked me “Did you forget something?” At first I didn’t understand what they were talking about but suddenly a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach hit me. I had failed to pick up my friend.
Mortified, I put the tools I was using down to race to the car and go get her. but they advised me that wouldn’t be necessary. She had called the church to say I forgot her and request someone else come and get her. Just about this time she appeared and events went downhill from there.
I started to apologize profusely, but she cut me off. In front of everyone she angrily informed me that if I didn’t wish to pick her up, I should have just said so rather than lie to her. No matter how much I tried to apologize and explain that it was an unfortunate mistake was to no avail.
She not only refused to accept my apology, she also stopped speaking to me, and shunned me from that day forward. It was an incredibly painful lesson with many facets but I love how God has used it to teach me about the importance of remembering Him.
“Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt of the land of slavery.” Deuteronomy 6:12 (NIV)
The old testament if full of story after story of how God rescued and provided for and His people merely to be forgotten once the crisis was over.
Now you might find yourself saying the same thing I did, “I could never forget God.” But I never thought I would forget to pick my former friend up either. The truth is, there are many ways we forget God every day.
What about first thing every morning? He is there when we wake to greet us. But if we are not intentional, our mind races and we focus on everything we need to do in the coming hours. Then we rush into our day without so much as saying good morning to God, let alone spending any quality time with Him
Or what about when life throws us curve balls and the unexpected and unwelcome bombard us? If I’m not careful, I try to control the situation myself and when that doesn’t work I treat Him like a cosmic vending machine asking him to make the situation turn out the way I want.
So what is the answer? How do I break the “oops I did it again” cycle of forgetting God? Here are two was that help me:
First, I make quiet time a priority. Spending time in the Word and prayer is absolutely the most important thing we can do each day. First thing in the morning is ideal. But if that doesn’t work for your schedule find a time at some point in your day that does. Get creative and be consistent. I guarantee it will transform your life.
In addition, I find journaling a great way to record God’s faithfulness and how He is working in my life. It’s unnecessary to make long entries every day. Some days just jotting down one thing you are thankful for will help you refocus on His faithfulness in your life.
“But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.” Psalm 77:12-12 (NLT)
How does remembering what God has done for you personally affect how you will live your life today? What other ways have you found to help you remember God?