Heavens Tto Mergatroyd, (Murgatroid) I Didn’t Remember That!
I told Ed, my old neighbor, in Saskatchewan that my memory is not ‘hunky dory’ anymore. I gave a wrong answer when leading Bible Study last Sunday and was ‘hung out to dry’ with a quick correction. It was obvious that I needed to ‘straighten up and fly right’ as the leader. I felt like superman with no phone booth, to change his identity in, and it was clear as a leader I was a ‘knucklehead.’
Ed, my old neighbor, was quick to tell me that I had found myself in ‘a fine kettle of fish.’ He concluded that it was time for me to wake up and smell the coffee not roses. He warned me that at my age I need to drink a great deal of coffee to stay awake and be sharper. He recommended that I take a huge, coffee with me into my Bible Study, so I would at least seem smarter.
Since I knew that Ed was getting warmed up to tell me what old geezers like me need to do, I tried to change the topic by telling him about taking a course at the university about ageism. My old neighbor said that he did not believe that there is such a thing as ageism, that there is prejudice or discrimination against seniors or the elderly. Ed doesn’t believe there are sexism and racism either.
When I forget a right answer in Bible Study, Ed pointed out that it proves that I am old, and my memory is like swiss cheese. When he ran out of gas in his grain truck, it was because he was so busy that he forgot to fill his truck up with gas. When others forget things, we think they should have remembered them. When people are young, we may say they are ‘clueless’ when they forget. When they are neither young or old, we say that they were busy and preoccupied with other stuff. When they are seniors or the elderly, we assume that they have lost it. They are not with it anymore.
Some folks accuse God of forgetting about them. Another side of that is the observation that we may forget about God. There is the compelling case of Jonah in the Bible who not only refused to do what God asked him to do but ran away in the opposite direction on a ship. Jonah was a prophet of God, but he rebelled and refused to go where God wanted him to go with a message. Jonah was thrown off the boat and swallowed by a huge sea creature perhaps a whale.
When Jonah’s life was ebbing away inside the creature, he remembered God and prayed to God. God heard his prayer and the creature spit Jonah out. He went and delivered the message that God wanted him to speak. Could it be that we at every age forget about God more than he forgets about us?
The prophet Isaiah spoke these words from God to his people, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”