My job is only an astonishing three minutes from my house. It doesn’t take long for me to get ready and out the door, either, yet for one reason, and one reason alone, I barely make it to work on time. This reason? Forgetfulness. Yes, forgetfulness. I will be ready to go and walking out the door when I ask myself, “Self, did you turn off the coffee pot?” I then go inside to see the coffee pot turned off like it always is after I drink the last cup. Even if I didn’t turn it off, the pot will turn itself off after four hours. I then go back out the door, getting all the way to car when I hear, “Self, did you actually lock the back door, or is that a memory from another day?” I walk back and check the door, which IS locked. I turn around and get into my car, back it out of the garage and start driving down the street, when I again I hear, “Self, did you close the garage door? You know, because that ONE time it closed all the way and then came back up. It could be open right now!” I turn the car around, drive through my neighborhood, and past my house only to see that my garage door is in fact closed. Then, and only then, do I drive the three minutes to my job. Forgetfulness can be rough.
I forget things a lot. Not on purpose, but it seems that there are so many things going on in life, that eventually one or two items tend to slip through the cracks. I have become overly reliant on the calendar on my phone and Siri to remind me of what I need to get done and/or do. I will buy birthday or holiday cards weeks in advance, yet forget to mail them until past the actual day. I will set down the remote in my living room and not know where I put it. (In my defense on this one, I have two kids and a husband who like to move the remote, so it is not entirely my fault when I can’t find the tiny thing.) Why, I even got the idea for this blog post and instead of writing it down right away, I told myself I would remember. An hour later, I was turning in my head trying to recall what I wanted to write about because I couldn’t remember. Imagine the giggle I gave myself when I remembered that I wanted to write about forgetfulness. Ironic.
I’d like to say that it’s my tired mom-brain that keeps me from remembering stuff, since I have so many schedules and to-do’s running through my head, but I think it’s because I have become so dependent on technology to keep me accountable for everything in my life. I allow myself to be reminded of things that I deem important. I give my phone permission to have a pop-up, so I don’t forget to empty the dishwasher when I get home. I make it a priority to remember because I want to choose to remember.
Forgetting can be tricky. There are things in life I want to forget, even though try as I might, I just can’t. I want to forget every mean thing that was ever said to me. I want to forget all the bad choices that I made when I was younger and in the valleys of life. I want to forget horrible and hurtful things I’ve said to others when my words were faster than my brain could filter. I really want other people to forget the horrible things I’ve done. I don’t have control over that forgetfulness. I don’t have an anti-Siri helping me to forget some of the scars of my past. Unfortunately, there is not an app for that.
Forgetfulness, however, can be beautiful. When I forgive someone over a hurt, and God allows me to forget why I was even mad, that’s awesome. I don’t harbor bitterness, and the relationship isn’t harmed. When I don’t remember every mean thing ever said to me or about me, but I only hear the good, that allows my heart to remember who God created me to be. My favorite forgetfulness is how God forgets my sin. In Hebrews 8 we are reminded of God’s promise to Jeremiah. The Lord says, “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.” You see, God in all His holiness cannot be in the presence of sin. By Jesus dying for our sins, God allows Himself to forget our sin through the forgiveness of Christ, so that we can know God. The Lord separates us from our sin. “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:11-12)” How refreshing! When God says that our sin is as far as the east is from the west, we have to remember that as long as we are heading west, we can never go east. If I go north, eventually it will turn into south, but not so with going west. The only moment I can be going east is if I choose to turn around. God has separated me from my past sin, only when I turn around to pick it back up does it create a stumbling block in my life. As it is said, you can’t trip over things that are behind you.
Forgetfulness may cause me to run a little late or look crazy to my neighbors as I continuously go back and forth from my car to the back door, but forgetfulness can be freeing. The fact of the matter is I need to forget the chains and sin that held me down, and remember that my God is big. His reach is big, and He can move big things in my life. The enemy wants me to remember my shortcomings, my failures, my critics and forget my God. Christ wants the opposite for us. Don’t try to control every little detail of your life. The coffee pot of life will turn itself off at the right time, when God wants it to to be done. Don’t worry about the choices that “could have been”. God closed and locked those doors for a reason. Don’t allow the sin of the past to come back up like a garage door with a sensor that is off. That sin has been buried into the depths of the sea by Christ. Don’t look back; remember the Lord loves you and is with you. Forget what has been forgiven, and go west.