Bible Verse: “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Exodus 17:14, ESV
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:1-21
Memory is identity.
Memory grounds us in who we are, where we’ve come from. Memory shapes us and guides us.
“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered, and make sure that Joshua hears it'” (Exod. 17:14, emphasis mine).
Future identity and destiny, in other words, flower from a remembrance of things past. To remember is, literally, to put broken pieces back together, to re-member. It is to create an original wholeness out of what has become scattered fragments.
At times it traps us, I know, memory holds us hostage, demands we pay some impossible ransom. But just as often it frees us, reminds us of something we know in our bones but forget in our heads, only to remember it again in the nick of time, before we seal an identity not truly ours.
The movie The Kid is about that. It’s the story of a man (played by Bruce Willis), a callous and jaded and ruthless man, who makes piles of money spinning people’s images.
His success depends on his hardness. It depends on his lack of feeling. But, in the alchemy of movies, he meets himself as a chubby, timid, tenderhearted kid. In the exchange, he rediscovers who he really is, who he was meant to be. His childhood self helps his adult self recapture his true identity, and his adult self helps his childhood self become that. The encounter becomes redemptive. But first he has to remember. He has to piece his broken self back together.
There is a terrible cost to our busyness. It erodes memory. Or worse than that: it turns good memory into mere nostalgia—memory falsified and petrified—and turns bad memory into bloodhounds that chase us to rend us, that keep us ever running, dodging, backtracking.
Busyness destroys the time we need to remember well.