Thank God for Sticky Notes
I have memory problems. Most of the time it is not so much a memory problem but an overload-of-information problem. My day is filled with an almost insurmountable amount of work and it is too much for my feeble mind to handle. Not enough hours in the day. Not enough storage space in my head for my brain to compute all the information coming in.
So thank God for yellow sticky notes! I write reminders for myself on sticky notes and put them in various places around my work desk. I might even slap one or two about 10 pages forward in my work notebook to protect myself from forgetting something important. If not for these reminders, I fear I would forget to do certain things and end up letting my customers down. There was a time I would fill my pockets with five or six of these sticky notes and bring them home to help me remember things I needed to do for my family. These notes would clutter our desk at home and drive Tammy crazy. I finally stopped with all the sticky notes at home because she did not appreciate them as much as I did.
It seems our lives are full of forgetfulness. We get way down the road from when our faith was brand new, and we seem to forget what Christ meant to us at the beginning and all the feelings we were experiencing of being accepted and forgiven. Life does that in such a cruel way. Some of us began our spiritual lives as all-out Jesus freaks and now can barely muster up enough energy to pray a couple of times a week.
Years ago, there was a song about remembering that was impactful to me. It is like a newer one we sing at church. The songwriter was on an airplane when a prisoner in shackles was brought on board to be transported somewhere. The songwriter thinks about the prisoner and then God gave him these thoughts which he put in a song.
Remember your chains.
Remember the prison that once held you
Before the love of God broke through.
Remember the place you were without grace.
When you see where you are now,
Remember your chains.
And remember your chains are gone.
Wow. If we could always remember who we are and what God has done for us, we would never leave our first love. I like to think of songs like this as yellow sticky notes, helping us remember and not forget the time when we were
separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Eph 2:12-13)
Yes, we need yellow sticky notes to help us not forget.
What about relationships? I know for married couples, forgetfulness is at the root of much or our lost feelings for each other. We begin the relationship with blissful thoughts and heart palpitations. Life hits us where it hurts, we sin against each other (because we are sinners!) and then slowly but surely, we forget why we fell for this person in the first place. How should we combat such a cycle that seems to plague even the best of earthly relationships? Think back to the beginning.
You are altogether beautiful, my love;
there is no flaw in you.
You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have captivated my heart
with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.
How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride!
How much better is your love than wine,
and the fragrance of your oils than any spice! (Song of Sol 4:7, 9-10)
Can you remember feeling this way about your spouse? It seems so long ago and there has been so much water under the bridge. Surely those feelings are there, but perhaps you have them buried under a mountain of unmet expectations. You think this to be the path to meet your needs but instead it breeds anger and frustration. Your mountain may look altogether different. It may be that you are a lawgiver and you place demands on your spouse that can never be met. Where is the grace that remembers that once you were a rotten scoundrel and God reached down with grace and remembers your sin no more? Can you do that for your spouse? We must forget placing all those demands and get back to what it was like in the beginning.
Have you ever seen the movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Set in the 1960’s, Spencer Tracy plays the dad of a white girl who brings home a black man and says they are getting married. This was such a scandalous thing to do back then. The movie begins with this announcement and then follows him and his wife who only have an afternoon and evening to tell their daughter whether they bless this union or not. Within all the soul searching, the daughter’s fiancé’s mother shows up and tries to admonish Tracy that he is a burned out, old shell of a man that can’t begin to remember what it was like to love a woman the way her son loves his daughter. In the powerful final scene, Tracy takes issue with that statement and begins to recount how he is most definitely old and burned out, but that he remembers. He says the memories are still there “clear, intact, indestructible and they will be there if I live to be 110.” He says if what they feel is half what he felt for his wife, well then, that’s everything.
So do you remember? Are you keeping yellow sticky notes to help you stay in the game? Can you remember what is was like to be so turned on by your spouse and there was nothing they could do to let you down? Remember that first kiss, that first touch, that first embrace? Take this advice from Solomon and write this down on a sticky note: “Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love!” (Song of Sol 5:1).