Knowing It By Heart (How to Know part 4)

As if we needed any more reminding that we're human, imperfect. They say, the older you get, the less you remember. There seems to come a time in life where the mental acquisition (more than wool-gathering, now you're knitting) sort-of crescendos and then slowly declines. Or, maybe it plateaus and maybe it even increases with age? All I know is that while I'm growing older (just like everyone else I know), I have moments where I don't even remember a simple thing that I just did and it makes me wonder. The conclusion which I've drawn is that I simply experience a temporary lapse in memory. I'm still just as acute as ever. It's just that I got distracted from my inner focus. A centeredness from which I seek to live, day in and day out.

It all started when my parents divorced, dontcha know. My mental processes became so scrambled that any trace of inner cognition was so clouded by bleak-midwinter depression that the slightest glimmer of peaceful cognition was something to covet, to retain and begin living anew from. Does this make sense? In other words, things became so black on the inside that I forgot what it was like to live as I'd previously been living. Time went on and I forgot who I used to be in light of circumstances and situations. And when the misery began to clear up and light began to slowly diffuse (it took its time, light isn't always fast), I found in myself a whole new way of thinking and remembering. And forgetting. I'm not sure I can say that I'd recommend it to everyone only that I recommend that everyone seek to substantiate their life and mind with God's word and His thoughts, come what may. And write. Writing helps immensely. The blocks you feel, should you even desire to pick up the pen, are the very blocks that need to be whittled away in order to develop the muscle needed to express yourself as a writer—whatever you write. I digress.

"Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy word." (Psalm 119:67)

We all go through life and acquire notions and subsequent feelings as to what certain words are. What they mean to us. If I say the word "affliction" what do you think of? Certainly nothing pleasant, I hope. Notice how the psalmist in the above verse references affliction. He says that it was the thing that separated him from his old life lived as a lie and a new life that is based on God's word. By the way, the linguistic term for the intangible thought-tag attached to a word—that which crops up in your mind upon hearing it—is logogen. How interesting that there's even a word for that. And affliction is never pleasant. But the thing about the affliction is that sometimes that's the very thing it takes to separate us from the lie (to cause us to forget it) and to birth us into a new life of beauty and blessing. And obedience.

"A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world." (John 16:21) And the "afterbirth"? That's not a time, that's a thing, a noun. It's the placenta when it's expelled after the baby. Though I'm inclined to want to use that term as the time after we go through the (potentially required) misery of actually realizing Jesus for ourselves. He isn't some idea, He isn't some force of nature or fictitious character. He's a person. How else can I say this? We may be unable to comprehend God the Father with our limited faculties. But Jesus is the perfect representation of God for us. He lived as a human and taught us how to do the same. With reference to God.

And that's the thing. Once you meet Jesus, the misery you felt becomes something beautiful. Sure, you cease feeling the pain, and remember what it was like before life. There are things you now know and also things you forget. There are things you remember, like every time God touched you in your past before you knew He was there or even who He was. I wholeheartedly recommend it if you haven't tried it for yourself. And He certainly remembers: "I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown." (Jeremiah 2:2)

This is spoken of Jesus: "the Lord hath anointed give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:1,3) He'll do that for you. Take Him at His word.

Sure, there might be some mental overhaul required but then again, what endeavor is worth more?

Knowing Our Audience (How to Know part 5)

The Christian's Horizon of Expectations