Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about memory, probably brought on due to some struggles of my own because of what I call “chemo brain.” I’ve been blessed with a pretty good memory, which has been a great asset through out my life. I’m reminded of the verse in Proverbs, “A gift is like a precious stone and it prospers no matter which way it is turned” (my close paraphrase).
Some of my extra-Biblical reading on the subject suggests that developing a good memory hinges on two factors. The first, which should not be a surprise, is paying attention. If I view something that I’ve witnessed as mundane and uninteresting, I’m most certainly not going to make the effort to file it away, and it will not be attached to anything I’ve already deemed memory worthy. The other factor that can influence memory is imagination, which is often the underlying tool used in various mnemonic devices. The reason why imagination is important for memory is because it can turn the seemingly mundane into the outlandish or unusual, which makes an event more worthy to be stashed away, and relativity easy to retrieve, or bring to mind.
Now I’m aware that somewhere in Proverbs it says that “a fool has no pleasure but in knowing his own heart,” again a rough paraphrase, but also in the Psalms we are told that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
So many places in scripture we are admonished to remember the Lord, or His commandments, or His past acts of deliverances or miraculous provisions. We are even told not to worry about what to say when called upon to be a witness, because the Holy Ghost will bring it to our remembrance. Which more than suggests that I should have read the scriptures at least once through to give the Word a chance to have been hidden somewhere in my heart.
Our very view of the world and ourselves is built upon our memories and our interpretation of them. Putting Godly items in my memory helps me to stay on a Godly track.
And now the great paradox. Though we are commanded to do all kinds of remembrances, like communion or blessing little children, yet where all Christians are yearning and struggling to get to, is a place where God Himself promises to make all things new, wipe away our tears, and old things will be forgotten!
What sort of memories are you making?