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Remember

The ability to remember is powerful. Think what it would be like if we couldn’t. Years ago I had an early Radio Shack computer that had no hard drive. It had two floppy disc drives, and you had to put the operating disc in one drive and the memory disc in the other. Looking back now, I can’t believe I even used it.

The ability to store memory is critical to business, education and love, because they’re each built upon data and experiences that are remembered. Relationships are linear in that they begin at a certain point and then arc through a series of time points. Someone once said, “We don’t marry the people we love, we must learn to love the people we marry.” Time and memory are essential to every relationship. This is why Alzheimers is so devastating.

Before we could store things on hard drives we had books and magazines, which are still core aids to human memory, but with each new memory device comes the danger that our brains may become so dependent upon external sources that they forget how to function by themselves.

Families keep memories alive with photo albums and stories that are verbally passed from one generation to the next. Sometimes the stories are limited to one sentence like, “I’ll never forget the day Uncle Jack fell off the rope swing into a bee’s nest.”

One of the worst things that can happen is to not be remembered—on our birthday, on our wedding anniversary, by our boss, by our kids. So we pay special attention to those we love.

When we die we want to be remembered. Many build buildings, create memorials, write books, record songs and television shows with the hope that these will remain after they’re gone, to remind the world they were alive. Such efforts represent our intense longing to “remain” after we’re gone. Our grave markers are made of stone instead of wood because we want them to last.

At creation God gave us a repetitive cycle of days to work and play, with a day at the end of each seven-day cycle to remember—because work and play become meaningless if they’re not punctuated with time to reflect and remember all that has happened. Remembering is key to understanding the present and the future, and it creates a hunger within us to understand what it all means.

God was really onto something when he said, “Remember.”

Rich DuBose writes from Northern California.

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About Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference.

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