Memory is the faculty of the brain by which data or information is encoded, stored, and retrieved when needed. Sounds simple enough. Yet at times it seems a bit more complex, more selective, more random.
I’ve lived away from my family in St. Louis for almost 50 years; yet, whenever we’re together for more than 15 minutes, the topic of the scrambled eggs come up.
“Hey remember when David was making the scrambled eggs in our apartment on Northwood and that car hit the transformer pole in the alley behind us and there was an explosion and David flung the eggs off his plate and they hit the ceiling….HAHAHAHAHHAH.”
Actually a few other things have happened in my life over these past 50 years other than the scrambled egg saga. While I chuckle and say “yeah, boy that was a funny one”, it’s actually not that funny anymore.
I do think that memory is a strange thing. When we stop making new memories, we tend to go back to the last ones we have made, even if 50 years ago. Last year I met up with some of my old friends from college and immediately went back to our shared memories of some 50 years ago… “hey remember when Bill drove Burn’s car and shifted into 2nd gear and snapped off the gear shift lever…. HAHAHAHAHHA”. No one seemed to think it was as funny as I did. Well, they have seen each other over the years and have new memories beyond the stupid things we used to do.
Well, God has a very excellent memory, but it is also selective. While he remembers our good deeds, He tends to forget a lot of things. Fortunately he forgets the sins we have committed when we have repented of them and received his mercy. “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our sins from us.” (Palm 103:12) I have to tell you that is really good news. When we might say at times, Lord remember when I did that stupid sin… I really still feel bad about it… and he replies “no David, I don’t remember that.”
I think that will be part of the final purification for each of us when we go to heaven; God will cleanse our memories of our past sins. We will no longer remember or mourn our past sins. Jesus has paid a dear price to redeem us and he does not want any memory of sin in paradise. For my part, I think that makes a lot of sense. If that wasn’t the case can you imagine walking around heaven and saying “oh boy, see the guy coming around the corner, he was an axe murderer.. don’t say anything to set him off, or gee, is that Hitler over there.. just my luck to bump into him today.” No worry, we will never know about our own or other’s sins in heaven. I’m really looking forward to that.