Insight From Isaac: And His “Click” Memories
Two years ago, I met a white lab named after a hurricane. Thankfully he did not act like a hurricane, so I adopted him. He adopted me. Now I write about him, and you are kind enough to read about him.
Isaac and I frequently walk at a nearby college campus. Since school has been back in session, Isaac seems to believe that he, too, is a college student. He desperately tries to assert his independence. We walk in the neighborhoods, and he’s the ideal pet. We step onto the college campus, and he puts his nose to the ground and fights for the lead. Last week, I noticed that my hands and wrists were sore from his pulling on the leash.
That’s when I pulled out the old “clicker,” and we went back to “obedience school.”
Isaac’s training used a clicking noise to let him know when he’d done something correctly. We hadn’t used it in over a year, and I wondered if it would be of any help.
The passage of time did not matter. The first time Isaac heard that clicking noise, he became the opposite of a hurricane. He cooperated. He was willing to follow. Amazingly, he was happy. I used it throughout the walk, and the memory of that clicking noise produced a docile, obedient pup. Not only did he remember what the click represented. He felt secure in its memory.
But I will remember the Lord’s deeds;
Yes, I will remember your wondrous acts from times long past.
I will meditate on all your works;
I will ponder your deeds.
God, your way is holiness!
Who is as great a god as you, God?
You are the God who works wonders;
You have demonstrated your strength among all peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people;
Redeemed the children of Jacob and Joseph.
(Psalm 77:11-15, Common English Bible)
All of us, whether canine or human, are guilty of forgetfulness. We interact with so many people and have so many memories that it’s impossible to remember every detail of our lives. We’re human. We forget.
Yet the psalmist echoes a word throughout Scripture: Remember. Remember what God has done for you.
As Isaac found comfort in the memory of the “click,” God fills our days with opportunities for reassurance. Are we too busy to pay attention to what God brings forward from our memory?
When you stop at a red light, do you remember the time you ran a red light and almost had an accident? Take comfort in the memory that God was, and is, with you.
When you sit down for a meal, do you remember the sacrifices of your parents and grandparents who survived the Great Depression with barely any food to eat?
Take comfort in the memory that God did, and does, provide.
When you recite The Apostle’s Creed in Sunday morning worship, do you remember that those words would not be reality without the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ?
Take comfort in the memory of what Christ has given, and still gives, to us each day.
Trying to live in the past can be detrimental and filled with regret. The past itself is not bad. The past can be one of our greatest teachers when God’s hand is in our memories.
Would you pause with me today to hear God’s “clicks?”
all good things to each of you,
This is one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands, Over the Rhine. The chorus is simple: “I’m looking forward to looking back on this day.” Enjoy, friends.