Forgetfulness seems to be an unremitting part of my life. I wish I could claim it is just because I am growing old, but unfortunately, forgetfulness has been a constant companion throughout my life.
As a young child and teen, I would forget to do chores my mother asked of me, I would forget answers for tests I studied so hard for, and even forget to come to a complete stop at the stop signs. As a young woman I forgot to turn my clock, thus being an hour late for my own bridal shower, forgot to pick up my son from daycare, and forgot dentist appointments. Even now my children and friends remind me that I shouldn’t forget . . . well, whatever it is I should remember.
Some of my forgetfulness is because I am easily distracted and sidetracked. Some of it is because I live a busy life–filled with appointments, places to go, things to do, and people to see. I never forget on purpose, it just seems to happen.
Sometimes forgetting is a positive thing. In Philippians, Paul talked about all the ways he could boast about who he was and what he had accomplished, but his focus was on Christ. He noted, “Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it [the resurrection from the dead]. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Paul deliberately forgot what was behind and looked forward to what was ahead.
How many times have we let things from the past burden us down and prevent us from living a life focused on Christ? Whether the past is full of accomplishments or failures, we need to live today in such a way that we are pressing on toward a future that is fulfilling what God asks of us. While there are lessons from the past that help us learn to be better people, many of the things in the past that we hold on to just bog us down from living productive, happy lives.
We tend to hold on to past hurts, grudges, and pains when we need to forget them and move on. Or we focus on past accomplishments and deeds and tend to coast along the rest of our lives.
Forgetfulness. Even I confess that sometimes it is a problem to be forgetful. But selective forgetfulness? What a good thing that can be when it frees us up from the things that hinder us and helps us go forward to the things God has called us to accomplish!