Memorial Day was about honoring those who had fallen in battle while serving their county. People gathered around cemeteries to lay flowers and say thank you to the men and women who gave their life. In many ways Memorial Day was about remembering.
It’s funny the things we tend to remember. If someone were to ask you where you were on September 11th (2001) more than likely you would be able to recall that day. For others they remember where they were when JKF and MLK were shot. Many remember the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. We remember the bad and not the good. Science reports the more emotionally disturbing the experience is to us, the more likely we are to commit it to memory because memory and emotion are inextricably linked in the human brain.
Making this thing more personal I would say when I think about certain people my mind is immediately drawn to the times they did me wrong or how they hurt me. I remember traumatic events in such vivid detail that I have reasoned they couldn’t be real. There are even times in my life that the same is true about God. When my life is falling apart and my faith begins to crumble, I rarely remember the countless times God has brought me through crises of various kinds. For some reason I doubt that God will save me. This time, this season, is the one that will surely cause the end of the world, or at the very least ruin my life.
But today I’m reminded of the good news from the prophet Isaiah who said “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.” (Isaiah 43:18 Message Translation) One thing I’ve started doing is keeping a faith journal. I write down all the things-well some of the things-that I have been praying about; the things that I really need God to do in my life. I make sure that each entry and request has a date. I also make sure I record the things God does for me and those connected to me. So if someone gets a job, graduates, passes a test they didn’t study for, etc. there is a written account of the good times. Even as God answers my prayers that I wrote about I make sure to go back and put a fulfilled date next to the original entry.
God has been to faithful to not remember the good and remarkable things. Sometimes we all just need a little boost or pick me up. I will be challenging my launch team members to keep a “But God” book or faithful journal for 30 days. It’s time to infuse the world with hope and positivity. Too many people remember the bad, let’s remember how great our God is and the power of prayer.