Remember. This word is used hundreds of time in scripture. Many times it is used to describe how God remembers His people, or His covenant, or His promises. He certainly doesn’t seem to have trouble remembering things. But other times it is used as an exhortation to us. We are so forgetful. And the Lord knows we need a little help to remember what is important.
I love how in the Old Testament God consistently helps the Israelites to remember. Whether it’s by having them construct a physical structure like an altar or a cairn (like the 12 stones in Joshua 4), or instituting feasts and festivals to recall God’s faithfulness. This pattern continues in the New Testament in ordinances like the Lord’s Supper.
Our culture creates these as well, like tomorrow, on Memorial Day, when we are called to remember those who have served and died on behalf of our country. There is something beautiful about these reminders. They pull us back from the noise and daily grind, and grant us a fresh perspective. They renew our spirit.
Well, today is one of those days for me, because…
Today is the running of the INDY 500.
So why is that a big deal?
Well, the race itself really isn’t. I have never been a car racing fan, especially Indy cars. The reason it is significant is that whenever I see that it is on, I immediately remember one of my favorite days ever.
In 2005, our summer Leadership Training conference was held in Orlando FL. That year we actually brought a U of M student who was still wresting with the Gospel, and figuring out what she believed. It was a little unorthodox to bring her to LT, since she wasn’t a Christian, but she seemed excited about it.
The first weekend our ‘project’ went out and the activity was oriented around learning how to talk about our faith. Well, we knew it would be odd for this gal to have to spend the day doing that, so instead two of us just decided to sit with her & chat more about the Gospel. We ended up in a comfy hotel lobby just chatting about Jesus and answering different questions she had. It was kind of an strange environment to be having such a deep conversation. There were people milling all about, and all throughout the conversation I could hear the Indy 500 being broadcast on a TV nearby.
Then during the final laps of the Indy 500, right there in the lobby, she committed her life to Christ.
It was pretty cool.
What makes it especially memorable, is that this gal has not only gone on to be a committed follower of Jesus Christ, she has become one of our families’ best friends. Over the past 9 years, Sarah Diephouse (formerly Campbell) has become a vibrant part of the church….transferred to Ohio State to plant h2o…married a godly man (Matt)….loved on our kids….gone into full-time ministry and influenced COUNTLESS lives for Jesus Christ. (Can I get an Amen?)
More than that, she is a reminder to Heather and I that GOD IS AT WORK IN THIS WORLD. Every time we wonder is God redeeming lives? Is there hope? Is this work meaningful or important? We can look at the mercy and grace shown to Sarah and know that He is real. We can look at the transformation of her life and know that He is powerful.
Sometimes it just takes the Indy 500 to remind me…