On the (rare) days I drive to school, I have the friendly UK parking garage elevators to help me remember which floor I parked on:
Helpful, considering the dozens of small details I remember (or, try to) these days:
My locker combination. Not locking the keys in the Jeep. Packing a spoon with my lunch on the days I bring yogurt. That Contracts happens on Monday/Tuesday/Thursday this semester instead of Tuesday/Thursday/Friday. These things are so much harder for me than they should be.
But while not locking my keys in the car is good, there are other things. More important things...
The book of Deuteronomy talks a lot about remembering. Remember the Lord. Remember what His laws are. Remember why His laws matter. Remember how He led you through the desert. Do not forget...
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees... You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today... [from Deuteronomy 8:10-18]Lately I just feel the need to remember. Last year was a big year, a blessing year. A mountaintop year. And this year is great, in so many ways, but there are things I need to remember from the mountain. Things that, while we were on the mountain, we said we would never forget...
I want to remember - and I mean vividly, deep-down-in-my-soul remember - the chaos of Mondays at the Brick House. The frantic washing of dishes. The blasting karaoke machine, the broken English, the shouting voices. The way that ice cream to make milkshakes was like manna from heaven and would always show up, somehow, from somewhere.
I want to remember the power that is in total and complete transparency. The transparency that comes at 6:30 on Friday mornings in a room full of best friends with bared souls, open bibles, and muffins. That comes on warm Sunday afternoons with brothers and sisters on blankets under Rowan Oak trees with Newks chicken salad and Mama Jo's to-go plates. That comes when love triumphs over judgment, and everyone knows it, and everyone acts on it. Weekly. Daily. Always.
I want to remember the constant encouragement. The answered prayers. The excitement, the laughter, the pain, but the joy. To remember - really, truly remember - that we were dead, but now we are alive. That we had needs, and that He met them. That someone died, on a cross, to save us. And that absolutely must change everything.
It's not that I have forgotten these things. I could never truly forget. But that's just it. You never start out thinking you're going to forget. When you leave your car on the fourth floor of the parking garage, when you see the friendly UK elevator, you assume you'll remember. But come 4:00, after a couple hours of property law, citation quizzes, and library time, that memory of where you left the car is a little bit fuzzy.
Another thing... Remembering gets a bad rep because people equate it with living in the past. That's not what I'm talking about. God didn't tell the Israelites to actually go back to the desert. He told them to remember the desert to strengthen them for the now, to keep them on track for the future. That's why remembering matters. Not so we can dwell on what was, but so we can take what was and use it to help us today and tomorrow, and the day after that.
So this is what I need to do, and I'm inviting you to do it with me. Let's take some time and think about where we've come from, where we've been. How He was more than enough. How He's always been more than enough, to everyone, always. And we can draw from the strength of those memories for whatever challenges we're facing today.
Let the Word, let your memories, let this post be your friendly UK parking garage door. Not because you've forgotten, but because we can always use the reminder.
He has been faithful.
He will be faithful again.