What do you want to remember.

My mom is having problems with memory.  There are lots of stories. I’m not going to tell you them.

Instead, I want to talk about a couple things she does remember. She remembers to offer us coffee. And tea. Often. She remembers to set the table for as many people as she hopes will come.

What I mean is that even when she’s not clearly remembering some things, she is remembering to be hospitable. It’s a habit running deep in her muscle memory.

She remembers to talk to God about her family, deep conversations, specifically for us all. There is remarkable pleading from this woman. It is a habit  running deep in her heart memory.

I’ve spent a few days with her, watching these habits and thinking, “What are the things that I do without thinking, when there is nothing but habit to guide me?”

I’m pretty sure that I have checking email down pat. I can check twitter in my sleep. I’m pretty sure that I can sit and flip channels.

But I have been finding out in the past few days that my habit of crying out to God isn’t nearly as habitual as it could be. As would be helpful.

I’m 52. I’ve got some years, perhaps, to be building habits that my heart and body will rely on when I begin to lose my capacity to make decisions. There is still time to tell God each day that I’d like his guidance for that day. If I start today. And tomorrow. And Wednesday. And Thursday.

Because I don’t want our kids to be writing their version of this post and saying,

“My dad is having problems with memory.  There are lots of stories. I’m not going to tell you them.  But he does check email really well.”

9 thoughts on “What do you want to remember.

  1. Rich Dixon

    I suspect your kids will report that Dad habitually loves people.

    For me, Ifear it’ll be complaining and seeking personal comfort. I’m hard-pressed to find habits that’ll serve others well. Hmmm…


  2. Matches Malone

    Here’s a case of me rejecting your reality, and substituting my own. Who says when we get older, we are required to lose the capacity to make decisions? I don’t plan to be the guy that has to have all those younger than me tell me how to live my life.

    And I say this, knowing that it’s most likely we’re in End Times, and none of this matters anyway….


  3. Frank Reed

    Jon, maybe we should start an Old Christian’s home for heavy Internet, social media and TV users? That way we can at least all be in the same room and not bother anyone with these habits. In other words, I hear you loud and clear about what habits I have developed and just how embedded they are in my life. Makes me sad and motivates me all at once!

    Crying out to God should be the only thing on my mind because how the rest of life goes is directly proportional to how much I do that. The more I cry out the better things are. The less I do, well, if only things just got less good but in actuality they don’t, they completely derail.

    As always your perspective has given me a new one. Thanks.


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  5. Cheryl Smith

    What a beautiful challenge. I was reminded the other day of seeing older people in a retirement home, when I was in college. One lady couldn’t talk at all, but when our college group played old hymns and sang, she sang along! Praise was what she remembered. May it be said of us as well.


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