This is the age of the moment. People live from pleasure to pleasure in search of something new, something exciting, something lasting. The mantra of our generation is “live in the moment.” At the same time we are almost as concerned with capturing the moment as experiencing it. We attempt to make our experiences last forever by bottling them up in digital images, t-shirts, key rings, bumper stickers and video clips. Though we have little interest in the past, we are very concerned about saving mementos of our own experiences.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with enjoying the present or with saving mementos. If you enjoy collecting travel souvenirs or photo-blogging, that’s great. What we treasure indicates what is important to us, though, and we must be careful not to live for the pursuit of temporal pleasures. According to Ecclesiastes, we should enjoy the life God has given us (Eccl. 11:7-9), but in doing so we must never forget God (Eccl. 12). Scripture provides instruction for keeping this balance.
Joshua 3 records the miraculous intervention of God on behalf of the Israelites in the crossing of the Jordan. Getting two million Israelites with all their possessions safely across the river would be a feat at any time, and the Israelites were crossing when the river was in full flood-stage. God commanded the priests carrying the ark of the covenant to step forward in faith, and as soon as they entered the river, God held the water back in a heap allowing the multitude to safely cross.
After the crossing of the Jordan, God directed Moses to set up a memorial (Joshua 4). Twelve stones upon which the priests stood when they crossed were erected at Gilgal in a monument to the faithfulness and power of God. This was to remind succeeding generations of God’s grace toward them. God knew that His people easily forget Him; that’s why we have a number of these memorials recorded throughout Scripture. Jewish feast rituals, too, were full of remembrances of God’s grace to the people of Israel. Jesus commanded Christians to observe the Lord’s Supper “in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). We need constant reminding of who God is and what He has done.
So why don’t you start building some memorials of God’s grace into your own life? If you like scrapbooking, try making a scrapbook of what God has been teaching you. You could incorporate scripture verses, hymns, pictures and words of people who have encouraged you, scenes from Christian art . . . the possibilities are endless. If God has shown special grace to you lately, make yourself a monument to Him. Have a picture framed and hang it in a prominent place in your home. Not only will it be a constant reminder to you, but it will give you an opportunity to testify of God’s grace to anyone else who comes through. Make a trophy and keep it on your desk at work as a reminder of God’s grace. Be creative; think of other unique ways to remember God.
In our “age of the moment,” let’s make sure we keep our focus on God, remembering what He is doing and has done rather than chasing the winds of temporary pleasures.
How do you intentionally remember God? Share your ideas in the comments.