“Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!” vs. 7
Like the psalmist, most of us can remember youthful escapades that we would just as soon forget. It’s a time when we’re breaking away from parental constraints and perhaps experimenting with alternative lifestyles. As John Ylvisaker’s song, Borning Cry, puts it, “we wander off to see where demons dwell.” Later on, as middle-age settles in, we can’t help but look back with a sense of wonder, perhaps even grateful that we have survived. There may even be things for which we feel shame…words and deeds that have been hurtful to others and to ourselves. The psalmist prays that even God would forget those days and that we would be remembered in a loving way. And that is, of course, the way things work with a God who is known for steadfast love and unconditional mercy. Even though we ourselves have a tough time expunging those memories from their storage place in our brains, God’s forgiveness wipes the slate clean. And perhaps it’s a good thing that we can’t forget everything. Those remembrances of past indiscretions serve to wipe away our smugness and can make us more empathetic to those who struggle with goodness during the days of their youth. We’re much more inclined to give mercy when we have been shown mercy…at least that’s supposed to be the way it works! God help us if it doesn’t!
Thought for the Day: The thing I’d most like to forget.