by Sarah Langness
I think it’s in our human nature to forget. We forget where we put our car keys. We forget where we last saw that little toddler put our hairbrush. We forget to dust that ledge, write that note, call that lady back. Lots of times, we simply forget the little things. Things that result in an inconvenience, make us disgusted with our memory, and leave Cheerios in the high chair. But I think it’s also easy for us to forget the “big stuff” – like what Memorial Day is actually about – because there is so much clutter.
Think about it: Simple celebrations, simple remembrances. Awe-striking truth and glorious hope. And yet we muddle them.
Christmas has become less about the simple, humble, incredible birth of Immanuel – God with us – and more about gifts, church programs, snow, decorations, St. Nick, cocoa and lights. Thanksgiving has become less about recognizing how much we have to be grateful for and actually taking time to thank the Lord and to give to others and more about football, big turkeys, and the start of shopping. Memorial Day has become less a day to publicly recognize and thank those who have served our country, a day to think about all our nation has experienced – and more about summer beginning, graduations, and grilling.
All things – these “extra” things – they aren’t necessarily bad. But when they cause us to lose focus of what we’re really celebrating, what we’re really remembering, who we’re really thanking — that’s when it gets rough.
Throughout Scripture, we’re exhorted to remember. It’s good to remember — probably because it’s so easy to forget.
“‘Remember this, and be assured; recall it to mind, you transgressors. Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from the ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’,'” – Isaiah 46:8-10 (NASB, emphasis mine)
So, to those who have served and to those who have had a loved one serve our country: thank you. I do not comprehend the immensities of the sacrifice, the long months apart from family, the intense realities of what you may have seen and experienced both here at home and abroad. I definitely could not pass your physical fitness tests. Thank you for protecting us from afar. Thank you for fighting floods and fires at home; for helping clean up messes brought by natural disasters. Thank you for serving in hospitals and being used to bring healing to the injured. I humbly admit that I take your service for granted. Forgive me.
And Lord, forgive our nation for forgetting You.