26th August 2012

Remember your creator in the days of your youth

One of the problems Christians face is the tendency to often ‘forget’ God and their relationship with Him. It’s not that our memory is short or we deliberately put God aside. It’s just that there’s so many distractions, things to do, places to go and struggles to overcome.

An unknown ancient Egyptian monk residing in the Egyptian desert is reputed to have said “Forgetfulness is the root of all evil”. When we forget God’s love we become increasingly selfish, when we forget God’s holiness we compromise with sin, when we forget His mercy we despair, when we do not recall His faithfulness in the past we get discouraged, when we do not remember His truth we get carried away and the list can go on.

It is no wonder therefore that God’s very word is full of exhortations for us to remember and not forget. The Israelites were to keep God’s law so close to their hearts that God told them to

impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates’
(Deut. 6:7-9)

The Jews have taken these words so seriously and literally that till today orthodox Jews tie little boxes (teffilin) containing the ‘Shema Israel’ on their foreheads and around their arms.

OK We’re not supposed to do that are we? But the principle is the same. Unless we stop and pray daily and meditate on the word of God we too will easily forget. We really need to build a reserve of God’s loving truth in our hearts and minds so that the Holy Spirit will remind us at the appropriate time what is God’s ‘good, pleasing and perfect will’ (Rom 12:2).

Just as bad habits (aka vices) are built over time, so good habits (aka virtues) likewise need to be learned and practiced with patience and discipline or we will not acquire them. So why not start from today to seriously ‘remember your Creator in the days of your youth’ (Ecc 11:8). What other way is worth living?!