“Live in the moment.” How often have I been told to stay in the present? How often have I repeated this mantra to myself and others?
Focusing and refocusing my attention on what is right before me, in the here and now, calms my anxieties and I am more effective in carrying out God’s will moment to moment.
This mental practice of staying in the moment is a mental, emotional, and spiritual challenge. I have repeatedly asked God to please erase my memories of past darkness, to make me forget. I believed what I no longer remembered would no longer cause me pain and I would be healed. Forgetting the sufferings, mistakes, and pain of the past may seem the easy way out but it is not God’s way of healing me.
The theme of remembering in today’s readings caught my attention and caused me to reflect further on why forgetting is not synonymous with healing. In Exodus, God’s chosen people have built the golden calf and are worshipping it as the god who brought them out of Egypt. Moses pleads for his people by asking God to remember His promises from the past. In the Psalm, David writes about this historical event, a pivotal memory, and he says “Our fathers… they forgot the God who had saved them… His wondrous deeds.”
Perhaps, the Israelites went astray because they were focused only on their present suffering. In trying to forget their pain they also forgot the goodness of God and His power to rescue and heal. I do not want to forget God’s presence in my life – past, present, or future. Remembering how God protected, saved, and healed me in the past gives me courage to be anchored in the present and face the uncertainty of the future with confidence.
Laura Ercolino is an Expressive Arts Facilitator and content writer for You Are Made New Ministry and Integrity Restored. Her passion is sharing how God’s healing power is made visible through the use of His gift of creativity.