When I was a kid, Mom always had a bat and ball at-the-ready and loved to watch us play baseball. My younger brother joined Little League, and we all cheered from splintered wooden bleachers on the sidelines.
Later, two of our own 4 sons took to baseball while the rest of us cheered from sleek aluminum bleachers. Lars was fortunate enough to have a dedicated coach who poured monumental effort into his team and frequently took the boys to local batting cages, paying for all of them to practice their hitting.
The owner of the batting cages lived in our neighborhood and did well financially with his venture. Then, in the 1990’s, his marriage and family unraveled, he sold the house he and his wife had built, and the batting cages were permanently padlocked.
This week I was back in my old stomping grounds for an annual physical. The doctor had upgraded his office by moving to a different one, so I Mapquested directions. Amazingly, his new office was in a large medical building constructed on the very spot where the batting cages had once been.
As I walked up the sidewalk, I noticed one of the concrete slabs had an emblem pressed into it. It was a yard-wide impression of a baseball and a couple of bats, no doubt a throw-back to the batting cages formerly on the site. When I got to the check-in desk, I asked the ladies if they knew anything about the insignia on the sidewalk. “What insignia?” one said.
“I saw it,” another said, “but have no idea.” I told them what I knew, but they were unimpressed.
Knowledge of places, events, and people seems to get buried under years the way ancient ruins get buried under debris. Despite efforts to keep memories fresh as with the sidewalk “message,” the press of everyday events keeps most of us focused on the here and now. After all, our heads can only hold so many facts at once.
For example, I’ve been taxing my brain in an effort to remember the name of the neighbor who owned the batting cages, but it’s buried in mental debris like so much else, and I can’t find it.
Inadequate recall or just not knowing in the first place (like the doctor’s office ladies) prompted me to think of God’s ability to keep track of everything without so much as a file cabinet. He’s never had the problem of mental debris. There’s only one thing he makes a point to forget: our confessed sins. At least that’s how Scripture tells it.
But I don’t think he really forgets. He just stops counting sins against us and quits reminding us of them. And that’s good enough for me. It’s even better than a grand slam home run.
“This is what the Lord says: “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.” (Isaiah 43:25)