How many times did you forget something this week? Some weeks seem worse than others for me. Just recently — Where did we put the concert dress? Where did I put my phone? Is this the third cup of flour, or the fourth? What was I going to get at the store? What is his name? This day-to-day forgetfulness comes with the territory for humans, I think.
We have all kinds of tips and tools to help us. Grocery lists. Putting things in same place every time so it’s automatic, a habit. That little Tile thing you can attach to your key ring. But when we get distracted or tired, interrupted or rushed, our tips and tools can melt away, leaving our minds stranded.
When I see a flurry of issues like that in my life, I’ll often open an electronic Bible and search for help. Bible.oremus.org. Search word: forget.
The overarching “forget” theme in the Old Testament is this: Do. Not. Forget. God. That’s good perspective. Forgetting where you put your keys — a real nuisance. Forgetting to get milk — could be a small crisis the next morning at breakfast. Forgetting God — now that would be bad. We count on the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for so much in our lives. Love. Forgiveness. Inspiration. Creation. Fortunately, daily meditation, attending church, saying grace before meals, wearing a cross — habits like these can help us remember God.
Then, as is so often, the Bible had more to say. Another perspective on forgetting, that seemed to me, to also be a perspective on meditation.
A reading from Job [11:13-17]:
‘If you direct your heart rightly,
you will stretch out your hands towards him.
If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away,
and do not let wickedness reside in your tents.
Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish;
you will be secure, and will not fear.
You will forget your misery;
you will remember it as waters that have passed away.
And your life will be brighter than the noonday;
its darkness will be like the morning.
To put it another way:
Let us reach out to God, with our meditation practice. Let us push unkind thoughts from our minds, and not let them fester in our hearts. In our meditation practice, we can find peace, forget our misery, and bring our lives into the light.
Indeed. Let us remember that forgetting is also a blessing.
Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing
in the power of the Spirit.
Delivered at Resurrection Catholic Church, Aptos, California, on February 2, 2019.