Choosing to Forget

A couple of years, I had the privilege of spending the evening with a saintly mentor, Wesley Duewel who was in his 90’s. In the course of our conversation, I happened to mention a recent scandal involving a well known religious figure, which made national news.


Dr. Duewel seemed confused for a moment.

“I’m sure you remember. . .” I said and added a few juicy details. Then, the kind minister smiled and said, “Oh yes. ..That was completely out of my mind  until you brought it up.  I chose to forget about it”

I was appropriately rebuked. It didn’t do either one of us any good to rehash another person’s failures. Sometimes, the best alternative for everyone is to choose to forget the whole thing.

"There are three things that happen when you get old," I once heard a gentleman say, "The first one is a loss of memory - and I can't recall the other two!" Forgetting things can be rather frustrating. All of us know the stress of attempting to pull a lost memory from the dark, cobwebbed corners of the mind.

Some people are more forgetful than others. I hate to admit it, but I'm a member of the "forgetful club." We've organized "Forgetters Anonymous" - but nobody remembers to go to the meetings!

Fortunately, I haven't forgotten too many earth shattering things along the way. Probably the worst ones were: when I forgot about a baptism I was supposed to perform or when my brain blanked out and I forgot to write my column for the newspaper- or perhaps the time I forgot to take the offering at church! I was finishing the service with a benediction, when the ushers finally caught my attention by waving the offering plates like crazy. (Whew, that was a close one!)

So far, I've done pretty well remembering important stuff like my wife's birthday, our anniversary, funerals, Christmas and Packer games. Actually, forgetting isn't as bad as it's cracked up to be.

Sometimes, it's better to forget than to remember.

It's better to forget the hurt someone has caused you.
It's better to forget to "rub it in" when you were right.
It's better to forget what others "owe" you.
It's better to forget the minor annoyances - the bugs on life's windshield.
It's better to forget your failures, your past sins, and your losses.
It's better to forget to toot your own horn.
It's better to forget your resentment and disappointment.
It's better to forget to complain.

In this regard, choosing to forge is pretty good medicine for the soul.

"Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize.." Phil. 3:13

Comments

Anonymous said…
Many of our leaders today prefer that all of us will forget their past deeds and just vote them in again. While we should forgive people, we should not be stupid. It is our responsibility to not hide from the truth.

It never fails to amaze me how much an individual can change just before the election. And immediately after he is guaranteed another few years, he is back to his old tricks.
Anonymous said…
Dear anonymous,

This is not just today's leaders. It has always been a problem.

The easy way in life is just to forget. The bad guy wants us to. That is how his evil thrives.

Popular posts from this blog

Wesleyan Apostolic Succession

Financial Struggles Help Us Grow