Skip Recap

While binging on a show recently (Sweet Magnolias – you’re welcome), I noticed that as a new episode aired, there was an option to “Skip recap.” In other words, one could enjoy a synopsis of what happened on the episode prior (sometimes even further back). It encompassed memorable scenes, action and/or dialogue. Sometimes I’ve found this option helpful if I’ve not watched the last episode recently, but if it’s a Saturday afternoon like this was, and I’ve literally committed to sitting still and digesting all 10 episodes at once, the recap wasn’t necessary. In fact, I thought it slowed down my marathon. I quickly grabbed the remote to hit the button that enabled me to skip pass the past and land in the trench toward the future. While performing this action, I paused and laughed as I heard the Holy Spirit remind me that I too, desire to “skip recap” when I am petitioning, hoping, begging, wishing that God would just move me along to the next episode in life. While there is nothing necessarily wrong about that desire, doing so without allowing oneself to be reminded of the many obstacles God has previously removed, blessings God has bestowed and the insight God afforded from history could be a valuable resource if and when allowed to present. If we desire the maximum benefits of God, we must at minimum, partake in the practice of memory. Memory affords the benefit and clarity that the present often hides. The present causes us to believe that we are never or rarely on the receiving end of God’s good and perfect will for our lives; Yet memory affirms that before we were born, God knew us and purposed every action for our good!

In Joshua 4:21-24, we read, “And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” (ESV) Acknowledging the stones is the practice of remembrance unto God. Recalling the many “ways of escape” God has extended, refueling our faith in times of silence and waiting and refocusing our desires into the intentions of God. We live in a world where the practice of looking back is dishonored. The world doesn’t encourage reflection or ownership of what we’ve done that’s been uplifting to another and/or the Kingdom. In fact, the world tilts toward being selfish and doing whatever is necessary to advance self. However if each of us developed the practice of memory and used it through the vantage points of wisdom, humility, empathy and affirmation, we could allow the stones to operate in the manner the scriptural passage suggests and not as a burden on our path.

When we jump into our next fast or set of declarations or manifestations in God while failing to recognize what God reveled and strengthened and purposed during the previous fast, declarations or manifestations, we are essentially pressing “skip recap.” We are more concerned with what we need God to do next as opposed to acknowledging what God’s done before. When we actively recall what God’s done, what God’s delivered, what God’s prevailed, we realize we owe God a praise and we cannot succumb to the temptation of fore-fitting our responsibility to recap as often as possible. May we be compelled to be as committed to thanking God in binge worthy fashion as often as we have breath.