Forget to forget
Deuteronomy 6:12 When you take it all in and settle down, pleased and content, make sure you don’t forget how you got here. Don’t forget, it was God who brought you through trouble… (MSG)
Its confession time again guys (Don’t judge me because we all have struggles) I am the most forgetful person on the planet. There are a group of people more forgetful than me but they consist of toddlers and very, very young children so if you wish to discount them form this particular list that is fine on this occasion. Not only can I be shockingly forgetful on occasion, but I decided to join my forgetfulness in matrimony with the second most forgetful person on the planet, my husband. Together we are unstoppable, we are capable of forgetting things we have set alarms for. We forget keys, wallets, phone chargers, tooth brushes and phones. If we aren’t wearing or carrying it, it has the potential to be forgotten. Keep us in your prayers, we’re trying. Let’s face it, It’s the human condition to forget things; we have so much going on in our brains that we have to get rid of something to make space to function! And unfortunately memory tends to be what the brain decides is dispensable. For example, I remember every detail of my wedding day (at least I think I do) but I don’t remember what I ate for lunch three days ago. Our brain is constantly regenerating and creating space for new memories and new information.
A year is a long time. So much goes on, good and bad. But with it being New Year’s day, I like most of you like to sit back and look over the past year. In the years prior I’ve thanked God for bringing me through the trials, for dragging me kicking and screaming to the end of another year better than I was before. I tend to focus on the negative, what didn’t go right and then cover it up with a thank you. I think about the times I got sick or the jobs that I lost. I think about the fights I’ve had and the tears I’ve cried, I’ll think about the battles, the trials and my shortcomings. I’ll think about the close shaves and the things I’ve lost. Ill focus on the people who have left me and the people that didn’t love me the way I thought they should. I don’t know why but I’ll stay focused on the failed diet and the fact that I didn’t complete my bible in year plan. Sometimes I’ll go to my prayer journal that I filled out so faithfully at the start of the year, and grumble at my lack of commitment to the activity. I’ll even think about the fact that I relapsed and ended up in counselling again. While I’m doing this, with no intention whatsoever, my brain is letting go of the good, and my thank yous slip away. They turn into moans and groans and what started as a gratitude activity ends with me being extremely grateful to see the back of the year. I thank God for meeting me at the end, instead of thanking him that he was with me, every single moment, every single day.
How does this happen? Why does my mind automatically remember the negative parts of the year when I look back? I genuinely can’t remember a new year’s eve where I specifically was grateful to God for anything other than the fact that I was alive to see a new year. It’s harder to remind myself that there was good than that there was bad. Why? I have realised this year that I have to tell my mind what is important to remember. What we attach importance to, we will remember. I told my brain that my wedding was important. I built up the occasion in my mind for a year during planning. I obsessed about it and I thought about nothing else for a long time. All through that my brain was making space to make my wedding an important memory, a day that I would not forget in a hurry.
What if we did the same looking over this year and over this decade? What if we trained our brain to obsess over the good that God has done? What if we made space and time to consider and write down where God has saved us this year, the things that have changed in us this year, the things that have blessed us, the way we have blessed others, the things we have done right, our successes and our triumphs. What if we choose to remember the times when he didn’t let us down, as opposed to the times where we felt let down? Remember the times where we had enough instead of too little. What would our end of year review look like if the focus was on how far we have come, not how far we have left to go. If we focused our mind on the idea that this year was setting us up for the lessons of next year that we didn’t actually fail we learned. If the negative memories creep in? Don’t push them away let them pass, have a good hard look at them, but change your focus. Look for Jesus where you were sick, look for him where you lack and when you were rejected. Comb through those memories and pull out every little morsel of Jesus that you can. Because I promise you without doubt or debate He was there. With you in every breath and step you took this year.
He’ll be there in 2020 and every year to come. I love our scripture for today Deuteronomy 6:12 -When you take it all in and settle down, pleased and content make sure you don’t forget how you got here. Don’t forget, it was God who brought you through trouble… (MSG). God had promised the Israelites He would deliver them from 400 years of slavery and that’s exactly what He did in spectacular fashion. But he made sure to remind them, that when it all ends, good or not so good, don’t forget who brought you out of the trouble.
We wish you the happiest of new years, we pray every blessing, love and peace like you’ve never known is present with you every second of this year. But when it’s all said and done, and you review the last (or the next) 365 days, don’t forget how you got here. If you find yourself forgetting, ask Him to remind you.
We love you