Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Remembering and Forgetting

With a parade in every community, with a flag in front of just about every house, with every war movie ever made showing on TV, and every window in the stores promoting Memorial Day sales, it wasn't that difficult to "remember" yesterday (Memorial Day here in the States). In fact, it would have been pretty darn hard to forget what day it was!

But today, it's easier. Going back to work after a three-day weekend, one suddenly realizes the loss of a day to get the work done. With the regular shows and soaps back on TV, it is easier to focus on the struggles of mythical folks than the realities that neighbors face. With all the visual reminders put away until July 4th, the fact that we have young women and men a long way from home and in harm's way can be shoved to the back of our minds.

It's like our relationship with God. When we are in worship, of course we remember to bring our prayers to God. As the hymns are played and sung, we recall the ways that music can heal us and inspire us to go out and serve others. When scripture is read, we remind ourselves that we need to be more faithful in our daily devotions.

But then we leave the sanctuary, and immediately join in a discussion about our favorite sports team, and poof!, there goes that mental 'post-it' to spend more time in prayer. We meet friends for lunch and, whoosh, we forget to say a prayer of thanksgiving, not only for the food, but for the folks who have worked to provide the meal while we were in church. We go home and turn on the TV and the tune of our favorite commercial drives "Amazing Grace" right out of our brain.

It's not the the struggle of remembering that causes me problems, it's the ease of forgetting!

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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