I wrote a blog post in my head the other day.
I was washing dishes, and the thought came to me. Instead of stopping to jot dot the idea – or even to grab a voice recorder – I just went over it in my mind and planned to remember it.
Guess what? I don’t remember it.
I find it interesting that historians want us to believe that early civilizations left few written records because literacy was so undervalued in ancient times. Yet, as Christians, we have written records that trace back to creation. We know rough genealogies and scattered stories from even before the flood. We can see from a look at the first five books of the Bible that the everyday Israelite was expected to be literate.
God’s Word sets the example when it comes to keeping records and writing things down. We have Psalms because David kept a record of his thoughts, feelings, and reactions. We have Ecclesiastes because of the musings of a philosopher. We have Proverbs because little sayings were considered important to remember. We have the history and the prophets and the gospels and the epistles because God inspired His children to write it all down.
All of those things came about when writing was not easy. Not only was everything handwritten and painstakingly copied, but it was also done on very precious materials. No one could just wad up their paper if they made a mistake! Mistakes were very, very costly. Every word mattered. Yet in the Bible we find such extensive records of precious thoughts.
These days we say a lot. We fill social media with every random thought. We pick up the phone to text or call someone every time a little thing happens. But, how much attention to we give to the truly important thoughts? I wonder sometimes if the ease of communicating keeps us from considering our words precious. We tap out a thought, only to immediately forget it. Words, especially written words, are not precious.
The day I didn’t write down my blog post idea, I did toss out several short thoughts here and there on Facebook. I made the time to tap them out quickly. Other than the work conversations that were rather necessary for my day, I really don’t remember much of what was discussed with those quick tosses. All I know is that I made the time for them.
But I didn’t make the time to write out the thought I really wanted to remember. The one that was precious to me. The one with an illustration that so beautifully emphasized a point. And now I’ve lost it. I don’t think I’ve lost the general lesson, because it fit into a grand picture of some things God has been teaching me lately. But those specific details are gone.
I know the Lord can bring it back to my mind if He chooses. And I hope He does. But, even if He doesn’t, I have been reminded of the importance of keeping those records. Of writing down the lessons, the happenings, the praises, the struggles, and the victories. Of being able to look back and see God’s hand when I forget. Of having something tangible to pass down to those who follow behind. And, I have also been reminded of the need to watch my words. What is important? What is not? What things should truly receive an investment of my time?
I’m thankful for that lesson. And I pray I live in the light of it from now on.