Posted by: ritagone | February 26, 2014



You all know the verse; you’ve probably been reciting it from memory since childhood.  Ah, memory!  I’ll come back to that.

“But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

What memorable, admirable words of Paul.  Forgetting what is behind.  Most of us would do well to obey this: to stop worrying or fretting about the past and get on with the present so that the future will be a better occurrence.

But sometimes forgetting is not such a good thing, as when, for example, I was given a pair of sunglasses to take with me to our CA Leadership Summit in Portugal recently. (See my last two blogs, which were about the Leadership Summit in Ericeira, Portugal.)  I put them in my carry-on suitcase and immediately forgot all about them.  So when I got to the conference and unpacked, lo and behold, there they were.

There was only one problem: I couldn’t remember who had given them to me back home. (To be fair to myself, I had been given several items to give to different people at the conference.) Okay, make that two problems: nor could I remember who I was supposed to give them to.

So I wound up bringing them back home with me.  And then I put an embarrassing post on my Facebook wall stating that I still had the sunglasses in my possession, so would someone out there — hopefully my Facebook friend — please let me know if they were either supposed to be the recipient of the glasses or if they were the person who had given the glasses to me to take to Portugal.

Well, you can imagine both the sarcastic and humorous comments that that posting engendered!  I took it with equanimity because I was still trying to get to the bottom of the sunglass mystery. And also because I really deserved what came my way.  After all, who is given a simple assignment like delivering a pair of sunglasses to someone and then aborts it because they have completely forgotten absolutely everything essential about the task?  Finally a friend from church told me that she was the one who had handed off the glasses to me; they were meant for Slava, who was coming to the Leadership Summit, so that he could take them back to Victor in Ryazan, Russia.  Needless to say, Victor is still without his sunglasses.  The good news is that it’s February in Ryazan.  Who needs sunglasses in February in Ryazan, Russia?  Even better news is that I will see them both in July, when we travel to Russia for a family camp conference outside of Moscow that we’re putting on, a joint venture between Christian Associates and Calvary Community Church.

Let’s just hope I remember to pack the sunglasses again.

And that I remember to hand them off to either Slava or Victor.  Already I’m nervous about the assignment…or should I say, the re-assignment.  I’ve placed them in a prominent place on my dresser, close to where I’ll stack clothing that goes into my suitcase when the time comes.  Let’s just hope that between now and then, four and a half months away, I don’t completely lose my mind and see the sunglasses sitting there one day, think they’re meant for the Goodwill pile or some such thing, and blithely toss them away.  Believe me, it could happen.

I’d like to blame this lapse in memory to any one of several things: too much on my mind, jet lag (both getting to Portugal and after returning from a week there), vitamin deficiency, or just plain old age.

But I think that it’s just plain old forgetfulness.  Too much going on, for sure, too many little details and minutiae swirling around up there in the ole noggin’, using up circuits that should have been meant for sunglass retrieval.  Old age, you bet.  I am not getting any younger, and while I feel fitter than I have in years, there is a certain mental acuity that is little by little departing from me.  There’s a name for this, but I can’t remember what they call it.  And as for jet lag, well, I’ve blamed too much too often on that phenomenon.  How often can you use jet lag as an excuse when you’re traveling from Westlake Village to Orange County?

So if my memory isn’t what it used to be, I ask for your indulgence.  Let’s just say I’m trying to be more obedient to Paul’s admonition in Philippians to “forget what is behind” and leave it at that.

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