Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live.
2 Peter 1:12-13
The holiday weekend a few days ago changed our neighborhood's trash collection morning from Tuesday to Wednesday. I sometimes have trouble keeping all the moving parts straight in my life, so I'm thankful for technology that allows me to say to my phone: "Remind me to take the trash out on Tuesday at 7pm."
Honestly, I use that reminder every single week even when the schedule isn't different. I know full well that trash goes to the curb every Monday evening. It has for years. Yet, inevitably, I'll get distracted or we'll have a commitment, and I'll completely forget about rolling the bin out- even though I know it. That's why I need reminders. So I use all sorts of reminders in my life, usually things that I write down or program on a phone or a computer. I have our wedding anniversary listed on the calendar with a reminder the week before. I doubt I'll ever forget it, but it's important enough to make sure that I see it right there in front of me every June.
Life with Jesus certainly involves learning new information as we go. We have blind spots and biases and limited understandings of so many things. Yet even with this truth, so much of what will really transform us is what we already know- directly from Jesus himself.
The greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.
You are worth more than many sparrows.
I will be with you always.
Come to me when you are weary, and I will give you rest.
Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of God.
The times we lose sight of what matters are rarely due to a lack of information. We simply forget what we know is true.
I often laugh at the profound truth of that little book, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." It's true. Most of our ugly habits are learned later in life. We could all use some reminders of the basics of kindness and respect (and sharing our toys).
We forget that God is love. We forget that all people are created in the image of God, with infinite worth and value. We forget that God's grace is bigger than all our failures. We forget that we are made for relationship. We forget that God promises to walk with us during all seasons of our lives. We forget that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to live new lives of compassion, conviction, and justice. We forget that God gives us the gift of rest and the gift of limitations. We forget that our neighbors are fighting their own battles that we know nothing about. We forget that Jesus is Lord of all, and we forget that we are God's beloved children. When we remember... we live differently.
So we need reminders. We need to read the scriptures over and over to remind us of God's good story and God's ultimate character in Jesus. We need to be prayed for by each other to remind us that we're brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to sit with Jesus in stillness to be reminded that we aren't God, and that's a really good thing. We need to worship together as a people- for the same reason I just said. We need to send texts to remind each other of things we already know. In the troughs of depression and crisis, we need to hear again how we are beloved and we are not alone, even if we "already know it" in our heads.
Discipleship is a life of setting up holy reminders for ourselves and one another that Jesus is our leader and that God's kingdom is more beautiful than anything else. It's walking through the day, constantly bringing to mind God's eternal values, so that we don't get pulled into a lesser life of obsession with money, success, control, or status.
I'm not deleting my trash day reminders anytime soon, because I'll never get by without them. Perhaps today, it's worthwhile to pause and set up a daily reminder of one simple truth that Jesus may want to speak to you. What's one thing you know is true, but you need reminding of?
Jesus, remind me of what truly matters today, and help me establish ways to keep your love as my guiding light all day long.