But bad memory is no joke. Example? Just minutes ago, Pam texted me and asked, “Did you remember to write a Wednesday Encouragement?” I suspect there is someone out there who would pay good money to have seen the look on my face, when I noticed Pam’s text as I was merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily driving down the road—nary a care in the world—with the Voyage album by Abba pounding the bass loud enough to cause pleasing harmonic vibrations in my Traverse. . .all the while I’m merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily heading down the road for my next-shut-in call, driving along so merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily because I feel at one with the universe, because even the most minute details of my life are completely under control and properly organized.
Yep, I suspect someone might have paid good money to see the deer-in-the-headlights look on my face, as I texted Pam, “You’ll have it by noon!” Then I wheeled my Traverse around and hurried back for a rendezvous with my laptop.
My forgetting wasn’t malicious or intended. I even rely on post-it-notes, and little nags on my smartphone, but forgetting still happens to me. And it’s no joke. Responsibilities can be overlooked. People left hanging.
Years ago, my in-laws forgot to pick up their daughter, Terry (who would later become my wife) from a summer camp. They had driven all the way back to Milwaukee from the Northwoods--merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily. They unpacked their bags after vacation, only to look at the note on the refrigerator and realize, “OH, NO! Today’s the day when we’re supposed to pick up Terry from summer camp.” That camp was on the west side of Hayward. Hours and hours later, two anxiety-filled, guilt-crushed parents (and perhaps 2 slightly-amused siblings) pulled into the camp to pick up a young teen girl sitting on the steps of the camp office. She was teary-eyed and stressed-out, because she wondered what had happened to her parents. (There were no cell phones in those days to provide constant updates.)
Have you ever forgotten anything? Sadly, I think all of us have. But here’s the good news. We have a Lord who won’t ever forget us! He assures us, “Can a woman forget her nursing child and not show mercy to the son from her womb? Even if these women could forget, I will never forget you. Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:15-16) Incredible! The LORD has tattooed our names on his hands where he will see them all the time! Our names are written in the blood of his Son! So there will need to say, “I got so busy running the universe that I let you drop off my radar screen.” There can be no senior moments for the One who is timeless and ageless.
And yet our Lord is so patient when it comes to our mistakes, our forgetting, that He guarantees, “I, yes I, am he. I blot out your rebellious deeds for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25)
Plagued by senior moments, yet Privileged to serve,
Rev. Glenn Schwanke