Jerry Wiles on Memories that Matter Most

The Power of Storytelling, that’s Memorable and Reproducible

In August of 1950 my parents, my younger brother and I moved from the farm in Izard County to College City (near Walnut Ridge), Arkansas.  The campus was a former World War II Air Base and the home of Southern Baptist College back then (now Williams Baptist University).  We made the move so my Dad could enter college and begin his academic preparation for ministry.  He also began preaching at that time and pastored churches in North Central Arkansas and Southern Missouri for more than 60 years.

Remembering What’s Useful

I was four years old at the time of that move, but I have many vivid memories of that season of my life.  One of my memories was having my very first cheese sandwich the day we moved.  The memory of eating my first cheese sandwich is not really a memory that matters much.  However, there are numerous memories that matter a lot.  For example, remembering our family member’s birthdays and anniversaries would matter.  Remembering how to get from your home to your school or workplace would be important.  Remembering how to tie your shoes, brush your teeth or drive your car would all be memories that matter.  The fact is we can be very knowledgeable and well educated, but we can only apply and live out what we remember.

God’s Reminders

In the realm of our spiritual lives and relationship with the Lord, there are certain important things we need to remember.  Ultimately, the memories that matter most are those that God has instructed us to remember from His Word.  Throughout Scripture, there are many references like “Remember the former things of old….” and “Beware, least you forget…”  God knows that in our humanity, we are prone to forget and need to be reminded often of certain things.  The Bible has a lot of repetition and many memory devices, such as the feast and festivals, landmarks, and ordinances.  The use of poetry, proverbs and parables are also methods of enhancing memory.

The Power of Signs and Symbols

Throughout history there have been many signs and symbols that are used to help us remember important truths.  Baptism, for example, is a picture or symbol of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.  The Lord’s Supper is a reminder of His shed blood and the broken body.  The sign or symbol of the Cross is also a reminder of the finished work of Christ, setting us free from sin and death.  Of course, there are many other physical symbols of spiritual truths, such as the dove, fire, water and oil.

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SOURCE: Assist News Service