24 03 2011


When my father-in-law died, the family discovered a notebook secreted in a desk drawer.  He was a great one for notes of all kinds – jottings in the margins of books, annotated clippings from newspapers, what he called “notes to self” on his dictaphone.  But this notebook was different.

The first page was headed “Forgettings”.  The notes were meticulously laid out with dates in the margin and details of what had been forgotten.  He was a skilled medical clinician and was used to noting his observations, but these were notes about his wife, an altogether different record about the woman he loved.  It was the first indication that my mother-in-law was developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Most of the forgettings seemed trivial when isolated, but together were beginning to form a more alarming picture.  When the diagnosis came, it was no great surprise.

For all my mother-in-law’s frailty, her faith does not waiver.  The posture of her heart is right, she prays for other people and she encourages her family to live well.

This is a very different picture from what we read in Psalm 78.  There the people were “stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.”  The psalmist goes on –

“They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his instructions.  They forgot what he had done—the great wonders he had shown them…Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him…They did not remember…”

What a tragic forgetting!  No amount of post its, notebooks and other reminders are of any use if the posture of the heart is set for Number One.  And the sad thing is that, according to Paul in Romans, if we’re determined, God will let us have our own way.




One response

31 12 2011
The year at a glance « moses supposes

[…] in itself, though; it’s the change of heart that counts.  That’s what matters to God (Forgettings).  I can take all the action I like, but if it is so that I can tick boxes, forget it (Clipboards, […]

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