"Wonders of Old, Wonders In the Present"
Ms. Patricia has long been one of our favorite folks in a retirement community where we conduct services. Except…
…Except her name is not Patricia. As I left a service today, I heard her familiar voice beckoning me. "Glen, Glen, I have something I need to tell you." I turned to see Ms. Patri, uh well, to see the woman I thought was Ms. Patricia walking toward me. I smiled and responded, "Certainly, Ms. Patricia!" She looked at me somewhat hesitantly, and seemed a bit embarrassed. "Glen, I, I need to tell you that my name is not Patricia." I looked at her and continued to smile, but I was a bit surprised. She continued, "My name is actually Deeann. It's ok that you've called me Patricia, it really is. But I thought you might want to know my real name."
Ms. Patri... Ms Deeann(!) has attended our services for well over a year. She is as sweet as she can be, and has shared a few testimonies in our services of the Lord's working in her life. She also tells me as I leave most of our meetings to drive defensively. "You be careful, Glen! There's a lot of folks out there who don't watch what they're doing, so keep your eyes open for them!" I suspect Ms. Patri… Mrs Deeann's wise counsel has spared me a few fender benders, and she really is a special person to us. Discovering I had been wrong about her name for so long disturbed me, but in her characteristic fashion, Ms. Deeann could not have been sweeter about it. She knew I would be upset with myself, and she did everything possible to set me at ease. "It really is ok, Glen" she repeated several times. I know it is, but I do wonder how I could have made such a mistake. I'm sure that at some point, I knew Ms. Deeann by her actual name, but somehow I left the cage door of my memory open and accurate recall of her name flew away!
I'm not surprised by my error. We see hundreds of people each week in the various venues where we conduct services. I recently celebrated my 61st birthday, and for a number of years now, I've known the reality of a memory not nearly as sharp as I, well, as I remember it once being! I can still find my way to the refrigerator (whew!), and I don't often forget to put the garbage can by the street on Thursdays for collection. Most importantly, I still seem to have good recall of the Scriptures that have found their way into my heart and mind over the last 42 years as a believer. As long as they remain reasonably secure, I'm not too concerned about… about… uh, what were we discussing???
I share this with you because in spiritual terms, memory serves as a vital component in our walk with the Lord. "I will remember works of the Lord, I will remember Thy wonders of old!" declared the Psalmist (Psalm 77:11). The current choices we make to trust and obey God result to a large degree from the remembrances of our Lord and His truth. Scriptures hidden in our hearts, recollections of Divine faithfulness in the past, and previous determinations to trust and obey God unite to empower the present moment's privileged responsibility to honor our Lord. As I get older, I find myself seeking to avail myself more and more of the gifts God gives to maintain the spiritual remembrances that keep the heart and mind ready to engage. I read the Bible more frequently, seek to pray with greater consistency, and avail myself of Christian fellowship as often as possible. Thereby I hope to maintain and guard God's truth in a manner that joins the Psalmist's "I will remember!"
Ms. Deeann couldn't have been nicer today as she corrected me about her name. She's that kind of person, for which I am most grateful. I am even more thankful that the Lord does His corrective work in our lives, and also that He gave gifts to help us recall Him and His truth. We play a role by accessing those gifts whereby we remember "wonders of old" that greatly aid our access of God's wonders in the present.
"He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered."
Weekly Memory Verse
For Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with Thee.