An elderly couple had dinner at another couple’s house and, after eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen. The two gentlemen were talking, and one said, “Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great. I would recommend it very highly.”
The other man said, “What is the name of the restaurant?”
The first man thought and thought and finally said, “What’s the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know, the one that’s red and has thorns.”
“Do you mean a rose?”
“Yes, that’s the one,” replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, “Rose, what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last night?”
What’s your name again?
That story would be a lot funnier if I wasn’t so close to being in that situation. Not too long ago, I was introducing my daughter to an acquaintance, and I forgot her name—not the acquaintance’s name, my daughter’s name. Oh, the humanity!
I’m not sure why us old geezers begin to lose our memories, but it can be a tad embarrassing at times. In fact, it can be a LOT embarrassing at times.
I’ve had considerable practice at this malady, however. I’ve been forgetful ever since I can remember. My Mom used to call me “the Professor.” She did so, not because I was smart or educated, but because I was absent-minded. I would walk into the next room to grab something and forget what I needed by the time I got there. I’ve been doing this since I was ten.
People like to encourage Christians to memorize Scripture. That sounds like a great idea until you try it. I’ve never been able to memorize anything. The possible exceptions to that are things like my Social Security Number, my birthdate, and my name—usually. Even those fall prey to occasional lapses of memory.
When I was young, I had a pretty fair voice. I never really sang much, however, because I couldn’t remember song lyrics. Some people have the lyrics to every song they’ve ever heard floating around in their brains. Me? Well, I’m lucky to remember a chorus here and there.
Just to give you a hint as to what this is like, I’m getting the feeling I’ve told you all this before in a recent blog. I can’t remember for sure, so I hope that’s just déjà vu kicking in. If not, I apologize to my regular readers for boring them with repetition.
The Jews had a great idea for avoiding this malady. Actually, it was God’s idea. The Lord instructed Moses to tell the Hebrew people to write His laws on their doorframes and gates as well as tie them on their hands and foreheads. That sounds a little strange, but it seems to have worked well. Many Jews still wear phylacteries to remind them of God’s law.
Maybe I need a phylactery to remember the names of my family members.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently pastor of Smith Chapel in Great Falls, VA.]