“(To) have in or be able to bring to one’s mind an awareness of (someone or something that one has seen, known, or experienced in the past).” -Dictionary
Recuérdame is “Remember me” in Spanish. The animated character, Miguel, sings this song in the Disney/Pixar movie, Coco. In the movie, if you have forgotten to put up a picture of your loved ones, they can no longer visit you on the day of the dead. They are then forgotten and are permanently erased from existence.
It’s a very sad thought that we will one day be forgotten… It’s even more sad to think of our great, great, great grandparents and realize most people don’t even know the names of their own ancestors from only 3 generations ago. Just over 100 years ago they were just as alive as you and I are today. In 100 years time, we may not be remembered either. David is well aware of the brevity of life and declares this reality in one of his Psalms:
Psalm 89:47a “remember how short my time is…” His son Solomon too would talk extensively about the shortness of life.
This can all be quite depressing; we look at our own lives and think about all of the things we forget and the things we need to remember. “Remember to take out the garbage” “Remember to text back so and so” “Remember to write that paper” I often have found myself in the position of needing to set reminders to remind myself of something! In the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, George’s (Jimmy Stewart’s) uncle has strings tied around his fingers to help him remember things. Eventually, he forgets why he put the strings there in the first place…
“I’m sorry, I forgot…” is an automatic part of our vocabulary. But there are some things we absolutely must remember!
Here are 3 to think about:
1. Remember the brevity of life.
Though it is counter-intuitive; when we realize how short our lives are, we refocus on the things that matter most. If you realize your tomorrow is not promised, you will be less angry that someone cut you off in traffic… instead, you may find that thankfulness will begin to replace agitation.
Plan with eternity in mind. Or as Jonathan Edwards prayed, “Stamp eternity upon my eyes!” Routine can cause us to be complacent; prepare for a potential lifetime ahead of you, while being aware of the precious value of each moment met along the way.
We will one day be held accountable for how we used our time, no matter how much nor how little.
2. Remember God’s faithfulness.
No matter what you have experienced in your life, God has shown you a measure of favor. If you hate God, He has been good enough to you to let you experience sunrises, sunsets, beauty in nature, the kindness of a stranger, hope extended even to your blind rejection. If you love God, remember His kindnesses to you. Even though I’ve often not deserved His grace, He has offered it freely. I’ve been given eternity when I deserved hell. I’ve been granted pardon when I deserved judgment.
In the Bible, people would often construct altars or place stones in a place of significance to remember the works that God had done there. I encourage you to take note (literally, if you can) of where and when God has been faithful in your life and share those memories with others.
3. Remember what you can’t.
This is a fact: even the smartest people in the world are reliant upon the memory (or recording) of others to know of their birth. We are so finite that we don’t even remember our own existence! The greatest moments of history, we didn’t experience. The worst tragedies, the most exciting victories, we have mostly only heard through stories, read about in books, or seen in edited/recreated documentaries and movies. This is the only way we can encounter what we have not experienced.
The truly greatest event of human history is the life, sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus. This event too requires us to rely upon the testimony of others. 1 John 1:1 recounts the witness accounts of those who heard, saw, and touched Jesus before and after He rose from the dead.
If we remember what those witnesses declared to us, we can also remember that Jesus promised us that He would never leave us, forsake us, or forget us if we trust in Him for salvation. If we have not trusted in Him when we meet Him, it will be far worse God than forgetting us, He will declare, “I never knew you…”
But if we know Him, He will welcome us into eternal joy!
We don’t have to have our pictures set on an ofrenda, we will one day go to be with our family from all of human history, those who believed on the Lord Jesus will be gathered together to celebrate the King who we will no longer have to remember, because we shall see Him face to face.