Remembering God

Written on 11/30/2018

Department:
Author: John Van Sloten

As I Was Saying is a forum for a variety of perspectives to foster faith-related conversations among our readers with the goal of mutual learning, even in disagreement. Apart from articles written by editorial staff, these perspectives do not necessarily reflect the views of The Banner.

The other night I fell asleep with these words from Psalm 22 running through my mind: “All the ends of the earth  will remember and turn to the Lord” (v. 27).

The next morning I began to wonder if every spiritual “turning”is a kind of remembering. If God loved us before the creation of the world (Eph. 1:4-5), and loves us in every way with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3), and knits each of us together in our mother's womb (Ps. 139:3), then surely God has left something to be remembered on each of our beings.

If the Holy Spirit holds the cosmos together (every facet of every human being’s biological, relational, educational, social, and economic life), and if holding means nearness, then surely every time a human being wakes up to God, that moment is a remembering of a presence that’s always been there. 

If all things really are made in, through and for Christ (Col. 1:15-17)—the biomechanics of your body, the way your neurons connect, your infinite capacity to imagine—then surely every created thing has built-in memories.

While the act of remembering often involves the recalling of consciously experienced life events—lost moments now brought back to life—perhaps it might also involve recalling unconsciously experienced events; those where the God who made and sustains us was present, even though we were unaware.

If everything in the universe comes from God, then how can anything not be packed with memories? God is before all things; everything was sourced in God’s mind. We are the conceived (in every sense). To be created is to possess an innate capacity to wonder about and recall where we came from.

Think about how remembering is experienced: until we actually remember something, it’s as though the event never happened (even though it surely did). Even as our unconscious minds hold onto so many facts without our knowing, perhaps they also hold onto unconscious memories of God, connected to past events, that are mysteriously woven into our very being.

What if the epiphany that accompanies a good memory recalled is meant to be a pointer to the joy of a much older and deeper recollection; a remembering of God again for the first time?

When you think about it, surely there is more to God and all of God’s interactions with our lives and creation than any of us can remember.

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