There’s a Korean song you might accidentally hear me belting out someday. It was the main song on the soundtrack for a popular Korean drama called IRIS. In English, it’s called “Don’t Forget”.
The song is sung from the point of view of someone who has loved and lost and is begging the one they loved not to forget them or what they shared.
You know. Typical dramatic romance stuff.
But what I don’t get is why it’s so typical. Why do people say that so much – in TV shows, in novels, in songs? “Don’t forget me.” I mean, y’all might be breaking up, but no one is getting their memory wiped. You won’t be forgotten, chill out.
I know, I know. They’re talking about a different kind of memory. Something similar to what Moses talks to the Israelites about in Deuteronomy 6.
Moses tells the Israelites to love God. He tells them of the blessings and benefits that will flow into their laps if they do love God. He reminds them why God deserves their love.
And then He tells them to remember God and His commandments.
Of course, He’s not suggesting that the concept of “God” might one day flee their consciousness. He’s telling them to remember His characteristics and the role He should play in their life.
Why does Moses have to say this?
Short term memory loss
We all know why Moses had to say this. The Israelites had already shown how often they did just the opposite.
They sinned. They served other gods. They went off the deep end.
But then again, we do the exact same things.
I know this, because I did that this week. And the week before that. But it’s not necessarily because I tried to.
I struggle with gluttony. I have for a long time. I don’t plan to overeat (at least, not every day). In fact, I do the opposite most days.
I get up in the morning filled with determination. I pray. I workout. I read from the Bible. I keep a Bible verse on my lock screen. I try to pray frequently throughout the day. I feel confident that this time I won’t leave God’s side.
But then sin time comes. For me, that’s precisely 12 noon. Lunchtime. All of a sudden, my morning has left my mind. I don’t think about God. I don’t think about His power. I don’t think about what He did for me on the cross. I just eat. I eat and eat and eat and then I sit back and ask myself how on earth I have forgotten God again.
Jog your memory
Why do I forget God? Maybe the answer lies in how I forgot Him in the first place. In verse 7-9, Moses describes exactly how to remember:
“Impress [the commandments] 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 door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
How do I remember God? Talk about Him, all day long. Bring Him up in conversation. Connect my everyday actions to Him. Memorize His words. Listen to them. Read them. Study them. Write His words down, put them all over my house and my car and my job.
There’s a big difference between what’s described there and what I am and that difference leaps out and points at me every time I read these verses.
In fact, what’s described in Deuteronomy 6:7-9 sounds impossible. How can I think about God that much? I don’t think about anything that much.
But doesn’t God think of me like that? Aren’t I always on His mind? If it sounds crazy to tell a lover not to forget you, it’s borderline insanity to think we have to say it to God. He’s been thinking of you and He’s been thinking of me since the world began.
I want to do the same thing. I want to remember God.
So why can’t I?
“Write Me on the palm of your hand. Keep Me in your heart.”
But is that even possible?
There’s nothing in the world that I think about as much as Deuteronomy 6:7-9 suggests I think about God.
I forget TV shows, and I love TV shows. I forget crushes, even when they’re intense. I don’t think about my best friends all the time, or my mom, or even food.
There are always blips.
And that’s okay, I tell myself, but it’s those blips in my remembrance of God that allow me to plunge headfirst into sin.
Must I talk of Him, write Him down, memorize Him in a way unlike anything else in my life? Or is that impossible?
Honestly, I’m not sure what the answer is here. I don’t know how to remember God. I don’t even know if I’m asking the right question or if I’m on the right track.
All I know is that I’m struggling with sin and I need to know why the God whose words I believe, whose sacrifice brings tears to my eyes, whose goodness I can see everywhere in my life – why does that God slip my mind when I feel like sinning?
I want to know what you think. How do we remember God? Is it possible not to forget Him? How do I get this special kind of brain surgery?
Although I struggle and I get confused, I don’t lose hope. Because my God remembers me. He thinks of me. He talks about me. I’m written on the palms of His hand. I won’t be lost forever. You won’t be lost forever.
We are remembered.
Please tell me what you think. How do we remember God?