My computer keeps flashing ominous signs at me declaring that it is ‘low on memory.’ I know the feeling..
The computer’s problems can, apparently, be solved by adding RAM (random-access memory), a form of computer data storage which allows data items to be accessed in almost the same amount of time irrespective of the physical location of the data inside the memory (no, I don’t understand that, either…) All I need to know is that the problem can be solved by adding memory, or so I’m told!
It’s not quite that easy with people, alas. When we forget something, when that elusive thought is just out of our reach, no amount of money can buy our memory. We often feel frustrated, especially since the things we forget are usually the most important, whilst trivial things lodge in our minds!
There are all kinds of ways of improving memory skills; memory is rather like any other muscle, we’re told, and can be trained, though equally we’re told that once brain cells have died, there’s no way to renew them. How can we help ourselves when we feel ‘low on memory’?
One way recommended by the psalms is to consciously focus our attention on God. Ps 42:6 says ‘My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.’ We are all too prone to forget God, to forget all He has done, to allow the visible and tangible to influence how we feel and how we think. God urges us to fix our attention on Him (Heb 12:2) so that we do not lose heart. The writer to the Hebrews also urges us not to forsake meeting together (Heb 10:25), being well aware that isolation is no faith-builder. As we draw near to God, use the sacraments He has given us (especially that of Holy Communion, where we consciously fix our thoughts on the death and resurrection of the Lord) and meditate on His word, our memories are renewed and our faith reinvigorated.