The next day I spent in town, our usual one day a week of Bible class and all the stops we need to do at once to save the gas required for more than one sixty mile round trip. Then Wednesday we left early for a dentist appointment that was one of the worst ever, leaving me fit for nothing but going to bed with a pain pill. Then Thursday we had more appointments and by the time I sat down on Thursday night to type, my half written devotional was nothing but a vague memory in the back of my mind. I sat for nearly half an hour trying to grab onto it as it floated just out of reach. Finally I gave up and here I sit without that wonderful piece I was so excited about.
I know this forgetting thing happens to you too. Do you know how frustrating it is to teach something in a class, then six months later when it comes up in a sermon by a visiting preacher you can hardly get your next class started because everyone is so excited about this new truth they "just heard" the past Sunday morning? I find myself sitting there thinking, “Where was your mind when we did this six months ago?”
Keith feels the same frustration when he un-teaches a faulty concept that many have grown up with, watching the light bulbs go on one by one, only to have those same people repeat that faulty concept yet again the next time that passage comes up. Yes, it happens to all of us—we forget what we have learned all too easily.
Do you know how to avoid that? I keep a notebook handy to jot down ideas that come up in my head when I don’t have time to sit down then and write. The problem last Monday was not getting inside as quickly as usual and so forgetting to even put the idea in my notebook.
Learning involves some work. I just sat through a wonderful class on a prophetic book I have never studied before, and never heard taught in any church anywhere. What amazed me was the fact that only two of us were even bothering to take notes. How much do you think the others remember now, several months later?
Come let us reason together…God says to His people in Isa 1:18. That Hebrew word also means argue, convince, correct, dispute, judge, and many other words that involve thinking. God will not listen to anyone try to argue, dispute, or convince Him of anything if that person has no clue what he is talking about. I will be that clueless one if I do not study the Word of God and meditate (think) on it. I will be equally clueless six months later if I have done nothing to help myself remember what I have learned. I certainly won’t get it by osmosis from the pew I am sitting on or by an airborne germ just because I am sitting in the building where it was taught.
Rene Descartes was the French philosopher who came up with this famous notion: I think, therefore I am. The guy did a whole lot of thinking his whole life long, but on February 11, 1650, he stopped thinking. He died. At least he had that excuse. What’s yours?
And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen, 2 Pet 3:15-18.