Bob Tamasy: Remembering Not To Forget

Sunday, June 23, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

More than three decades ago, one of my first assignments as a new CBMC staff member was to attend a one-day training session to learn how to properly use the daily planner which then was called Time:Systems. (You know a daily planner must be good if you need training to use it right.)

Actually, I did learn a lot, especially that every day significant mental energy is expended trying to remind ourselves not to forget important things. The training taught me a simple solution to such forgetfulness: Write it down.

When you write down things you want to remember, all you have to remember is where you wrote down the stuff you need to remember. Got it? Don’t forget.

I also learned to maintain only one to-do list, not separate lists for work and for personal concerns. That helps you avoid making commitments at work when you already have family obligations, and vice versa. Write it down, keep everything together, and simply remember to review your list occasionally. This frees up your mind for more pressing matters.

One other memory trick I discovered – actually this one I taught myself – was when I think of something I don’t want to forget, wherever and whenever that occurs, write it down immediately. Even if I awaken from a sound sleep.

Early in my newspaper career I learned this lesson the hard way. On a couple occasions I woke up in the middle of the night with great ideas for articles or columns. “That’s good. I’ll have to remember that in the morning,” I thought, before turning over to return to dreamland. Come morning the marvelous idea, whatever it was, was gone. Vanished, like a vapor.

Perhaps it could been the seed for the next great American novel, the secret to world peace, or something of that magnitude. But whatever it was, it had been withdrawn from my memory bank.

So I resolved that whenever I have an idea good enough to wake me up in the wee dark hours, I’d write it down. Right then and there. Whether in a notepad on the nightstand next to my bed, or actually getting up to type it on my computer. In fact, I did that just last night. I woke up with a crazy idea rattling around my mind – no idea where it had come from – but I thought, “If I don’t write this down, sure enough, it won’t be there when I get up in the morning.”

Now whether this idea ever amounts to anything, time will tell. But the point is, I didn’t have to fret about forgetting it. I lost no sleep reminding myself not to forget.

This is one reason God often tells His people, in essence, “Write it down.” For instance, after God used Moses to lead the Israelites to a decisive victory, He directed him, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered…” (Exodus 17:14).

Instructing His people to never forget the greatest of all commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength,” God instructed fathers in Israel to “Impress them on your children…. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

New Testament authors frequently explained the importance of putting into writing the truths and principles that undergirded their faith. The apostle Paul wrote, “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you” (Philippians 3:1).

There are numerous other examples, but the point is simple: Write down what God has done in your life. So when times come, and they will, that you want to ask, “Lord, what have you done for me lately?” you have a supply of written reminders not only to help you remember His provision in the past, but also His promises for the future.

You can maintain a spiritual journal, make notations in the margins of your Bible, whatever works for you. How you do it makes little difference – just do it. Write what God has done in your life and periodically review what you’ve written.

And while you’re at it, be faithful to regularly read what others have written – in the Word of God. Even Jesus, when tempted by Satan, would respond, “It is written…,” and quote from the Scriptures. If it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for us.

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Steve Ellison: When Your Pot Runs Dry

Jesus made His first public appearance and performed His first miracle at a wedding.  John 2:2 tells us that He showed up there because He was invited.  Jesus ought to be invited to every wedding, keeping in mind that it is up to the creature to conform his ideas of marriage to those of the Creator.  With that in mind, Jesus should be a welcomed guest at every wedding.  ... (click for more)

Bob Tamasy: Forgiveness - The Gift You Give Yourself

The response by some family members and friends of the victims of the shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, along with members of the congregation, has heartened many, confused some, and confounded others. One day after the shooter (whom I won’t name, since he’s already gotten enough notoriety) killed nine men and women, despite sitting among them for about an hour ... (click for more)

Thousands Line Route For Funeral Procession Of Sailor Slain In Chattanooga Shooting; Wife Sings Song At Funeral She Was Singing When They Met

Thousands of people waving flags and signs again lined the streets and highways of Chattanooga for the second of two local funerals for military personnel slain by a gunman on July 16. And at the funeral service for Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Scott Smith, his wife, Angie, sang the song she was singing the first time they met. She said she was singing "You say it best when ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Who Declared He Was "An Innocent Man" On Child Pornography Charges Gets Conviction, 24-Year Sentence Overturned

The Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a Chattanooga man who claimed at his trial and sentencing that he was wrongfully convicted by a jury of possession and distribution of child pornography. James Paul Lowe had been sentenced in May to serve 24 years in federal prison. After the sentencing, he had bid his family goodbye and told them to ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Strong

The hearts, minds and prayers of Tennesseans, and of the entire nation, have been turned toward Chattanooga this month.  We are sickened and saddened by the senseless tragedy, and we grieve for the families of the five service members who were killed, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” K. Wells, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Could Obama Win Again?

When President Barack Obama spoke to the African Union yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he made a pretty brash statement: “I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” he told the African leaders. “I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t.” While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don’t think that’s true. Obviously, term limits keep Obama from running, but as I sit ... (click for more)