Throughout the Old Testament, the Lord told his people to set up monuments. They weren't always much, some of them just large piles of rock. There were reasons for these piles, these altars. They were about remembering. God knew that His people forget the things that He does, we start getting caught up in a new struggle (or a new season of happiness) and we forget what He has done for us in the past and the ways in which He has been faithful. God is patient with us, and He provides us with safeguards to our natures. Monuments, reminders.
I have always loved this concept and I have taken it to heart. Jewelry and other possessions have been purchased for the purpose of remembering God's promises, or His power. My dressing table mirror is currently covered with sticky notes and index cards reminding me to write, to floss my teeth (from my hygienist) and giving me instant access to particularly influential scriptures I have read recently.
Sometimes, I don't even have to read them to remember what they say and act on them. It is enough that they are there. Their presence forces me to remember.
Piles of stuff, while not always built as a memorial, do this for me as well. Do you have those piles that call out your name and ask you to sort through them? Perhaps they tell you that you are messy and that your life is out of control? Some piles are very devious.
Those piles also serve as remembrances. I'm pretty sure that this type of lying pile was covered in the Old Testament as well. God told the Israelites to tear down their false gods, to tear down the gods of those that they conquered. All of these memorials were telling lies. Memorial is important and powerful, and the wrong kind can mess you up, I think, just as badly as not remembering what we are supposed to remember.
If I'm supposed to build my life on the Rock, I want to build it on the right one. I certainly don't want to be dwelling on things which are not healthy or pure. That is not where I want to live.
Happy Memorial Day, happy remembering...