This is a re-post from October 30, 2015! I was in need of this reminder this week and I hope it inspires anyone else who feels the same way as I do. Enjoy!
Samuel Johnson once said: “People need to be reminded as much as they need to be informed.” I believe that people need to be reminded more than they need to be informed. Obviously there is no reminding if there is no informing, but I want to put an added emphasis on the personal need and necessity of being regularly reminded in our lives.
I don’t think anyone will contest me when I state that human’s have a pretty terrible memory. I can’t remember three quarters of the things I did last week — let alone things I did last year. Stretch further back and the more my memories will be laying dormant. I’ve had some pretty memorable times over the past few years. I’ve met a lot of people and travelled to a lot of amazing places, but I still find myself stumbling across old photographs shocked that I had forgotten the scene that was occurring in the photo.
When I think about forgetful people, I most often think about the Israelites. It just blows my mind when I think about the fact that they were released from slavery in Egypt in a miraculous fashion, crossed the Red Sea in miraculous fashion, and were fed through God sending food from the sky in a miraculous fashion. Yet when Moses disappeared into the mountain for a short time, they forgot all about the God who was providing for them and decided to build a hunk of gold to follow instead. (Exodus 32)
Seriously? Come on! Maybe they were able to cross the sea because they are goldfish?
I’m reading through the Old Testament at the moment and I constantly see God asking His people to build altars before Him. These altars don’t sound particularly aesthetically pleasing, so I doubt God is really enjoying it for that reason, but I think God is enjoying them for the fact that they slow His children down, centre their minds on Him, and provide an opportunity to remember His goodness.
We need more altars in our lives. We need altars in our personal lives, we need altars in our relationships, and, most importantly, we need altars in our spiritual lives. We need constant reminders. We need something that will remind us of our purpose for living, we need something to remind us of our commitment and love in our relationships, and we need something that will remind us of the goodness God has bestowed upon our lives.
The memories that enrich our lives and remind us of who we really are and what we are truly pursuing have not been erased — they are just laying dormant waiting to be stoked like a flame. Write yourself letters, take and print out pictures, record your prayers, go places that evoke memories, or find an item that takes you back. Leave these things in eyesight and reflect on them day in and day out.
Build your altars and stir up the flame that will keep you warm when all feels cold, that will dry you off when the rain falls, and that will keep your eyes on the prize and purpose of the life God has gifted to you.
Don’t put this off — you may forget!