This afternoon I rode the train from Chicago up to the pool, swaying rhythmically as the train swept up the track. As the urban landscape whizzed past, my eyes unfocused and I found myself thinking back over the last two months that I have spent at school. Memories of obscure events and amusing conversations came to mind, and I smiled to myself as I recalled things I thought I had forgotten.
But then, as the train slowed into a station and the people around me shifted in preparation to disembark, a more sobering thought struck me. I‘m going to forget so much of this, I thought. And it’s true; while many, many snippets of life are stored in the archives of my memory, a fair amount of the things I have experienced at Moody Bible Institute over the past two months have slipped away from me. Fading into the realm of lost memories, out of sight, out of mind; forgotten.
And the truth of the matter is that, for the most part, we do not control what we remember. You can quote word for word a conversation you had at lunch six weeks ago, but you’re not exactly sure what the girl who sits next to you in class said to you this morning. Some things are remembered, some are forgotten, and it would seem that there is no rhyme or reason to what becomes memory and what slips completely out of mind.
To truly remember, one must write. Record what happened, yes, but do more. Relate on paper what it looked like, what it felt like, how it came about, what happened after, the way it looked when it was all over with. Write it down. Preserve it. Remember it.