Monday, May 25, 2009

The Daily Disciplines: Remember

Today we pause and remember all of those who have given their lives in the fight for freedom. We remember those who have gone before us, some of whom we read about in history, some of whom we know personally. We admire the sacrifice they have made and are making, and pray for the continued protection of those we know and love.

However, remembering the past should not be a once-a-year occurrence. It should truly be a daily discipline, as we recall what the Lord has done and praise Him for it.

Time and time again throughout the Bible, God tells His people to remember where they came from and what He did for them. Yet, God's people so quickly forgot what He had done and how He had blessed them. Instead, many times they got caught up in their fears and worries of the day, turning from God and bringing judgment upon themselves. It is often said that those that do not learn from history are bound to repeat it, and civilizations from ancient times until now are proving it true as we make the same mistakes and reap the same consequences.

"Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced," - Psalm 105:4-5

Why remember? Why not just live in the present? While we shouldn't be stuck in the past, we should also use times of reflection to remember God's works and praise Him for what He's done. We should remember those who have gone before us, from those who fought for our freedom to our ancestors, and learn from the legacy they have left. We should remember God's promises and the faithfulness He has shown us time and time again, so that we will not get caught up in worry and fear when we face difficulty. We should remember what we learned from the mistakes we made and experiences we've had, so that we will not repeat the same mistake twice, but rather learn and move on to greater excellence.

We as humans so quickly forget things. We take blessings for granted. We quickly forget hardships and the things we learned through them. If we're not experiencing it now, it too often leaves our minds entirely. Instead, we should take time to remember; take time to pray; take time to thank God for His faithfulness and ask Him to help us learn from the past.

"I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds." - Psalm 77:11-12

One way I've enjoyed remembering things is through journaling and scrapbooking. Looking back at pictures and reading about experiences reminds me of where God has led me and gives me hope for the future. Learning about history and reading biographies also helps me remember where God has brought the world, and reminds me to learn from the great heroes of the faith who have gone before.

Also, it's interesting to read through the verses under "remember" in a Bible concordance (go here to read these online). It is encouraging to see how God remembered His people, inspiring to be reminded of all the things God didn't want us to forget, and sobering to see how many times God's people didn't remember and judgment came as a result.

In the comment section, please share if you feel led, answering any, all, or none of the following questions:
  • What do you most take for granted?
  • How do you purposefully remember history, lessons learned, and things God has taught you?
  • What is the most important thing that you want to remember in the years ahead?

1 comment:

Lana said...

Wow. I think I take the ability to commune with God daily so lightly. People prior to the crucifixion did not have that privilege. And yet I do.

I love history and philosophy. Sometimes I have trouble not pondering history and seeing it repeat itself.

I do not remember the third question.