[Part 5, Chapter 31]
Mr Cloth was coming for Gabe’s face. He was sitting in the bath, and on his face were the many remnants of a wonderful day out with us grandparents, and an assortment of aunties and uncles. He really didn’t want that cloth. As it came near, he grimaced. My solution was to positively distract him. As I wiped his smudged face, I side-tracked him: “Here is the babycino, the chips, the tomato sauce, the ice cream, the marshmallows, the Bolognese, the crackers…!” With each mention—even though I was wiping—the grin on his face broadened. He was remembering every single facet of the day.
We do well to remember.
Mary and Zechariah give thanks because of the favour that has burst into their lives. Favour has interrupted their lives in the most extraordinary way, and they will never be the same again.
Or will they?
Let’s be honest, we’ve all had a life-changing experience, vowed never to forget it, assured everyone that things will be different, only to slip back.
There’s a key. One Mary and Zechariah show us through their respective songs: remembering.
It is huge in the life of Israel. They came together regularly to hear the stories told and retold. Their oral tradition meant every community meal was one in which the redemption narratives were recounted. Their meals were remembrance meals.
I have the privilege of looking after a nearby farm, specifically for when the cattle need extra feed. I love hanging out with Bowser, the owner, who lives two hours away. The bonus is I get to hang out with his champion sons, Jake and Charlie.
The problem with farmers is their remembering can lapse. Don’t get me wrong, they can tell you how much rainfall they received twenty years ago, and how often I took out a fence post with the tractor. What they have trouble remembering are things like seat belts and handbrakes.
So it was that Bowser and Jake were on top of a hill when the Landcruiser started to roll. After a vain and potentially fatal attempt to stop it, they stood there and watched it trundle 250 metres down the hill, praying it would miss anything of significance in its path. It did. But it was still a write-off.
Whenever I’m up on the farm with the boys, whether in the ute, tractor, or truck, the cry is the same, “Did you remember the handbrake!” (It’s uttered as a statement, almost a decree, not an enquiry). There is nothing like a $40k write-off to keep the memory sharp.
While it’s relatively easy to remember the negatives, the blessings seem to be forgotten more easily. Why not try some of these suggestions to remember the favour you already have.
- Reflect on the sheer magnitude of Father’s love for you in Jesus by reading passages such as Ephesians 1:3-14.
- Search your heart for ingratitude, comparisons, complaining, negativity, and discontent, surrendering these in prayer.
- Whatever you take for granted, apply favour there.
- Turn comparing and complaining into thanksgiving. For example, I can be thankful for the taxes I pay because it means I am employed.
- Focus on what you do have, not what you don’t.
Remembering … it may just bring a grin to your face!