My grandparents had a small farm in Southern Idaho and it was my privilege to spend my summers working alongside my grandad on that farm. It was a great adventure that included tractors, milk cows, irrigation boots, barn cats, hay bales, hard work, and two dogs—Tara and Pug. Those two dogs knew every square inch of that 100-acre farm, and they spent their days exploring the fields, swimming in the pond, sleeping in the sun, and hunting the yellow-bellied marmot—commonly known as a rock chuck.
After lunch one day, my grandad and I walked out the back door of the house and were surprised to find a large, dead rock chuck lying on the back step. Tara and Pug stood nearby, panting, slobbering, and beaming with pride. We celebrated their triumph with pats on the head and lots of “good dogs” all around, and then my grandad told me to grab a shovel and go bury that thing in a nearby pasture.
I dragged that lifeless marmot out into the field, and the dogs followed me eagerly and attentively, brimming with joy. I dug what I thought was a deep hole and I buried the carcass. Two weeks later, the matted, stinking remains of that rock chuck appeared again on the back step of the house. Nearby, Tara and Pug lay innocently in the yard, but the traces of dirt on their front paws and noses told the story. Needless to say, I reburied the creature in a different spot, without Tara and Pug tagging along, and that was the end of that. They forgot about the rock chuck and resumed their life of fun and adventure on the farm.
Those crazy dogs had dug up that dead thing, and I understand why—they’re dogs. But why do you and I do the same thing? It’s been said that “memory is like a crazy woman that hoards colored rags and throws away food.” We remember the things we should forget, and forget the things we should remember.
We all have junk, mistakes, regrets and sin in our lives, but the Good News is that Jesus went to the cross and took all of that dead stuff and buried it. It is gone! All we have left to do is to forget it, and live a redeemed, victorious life of adventure and joy in Jesus.
In Isaiah 43, the prophet tells us to,
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!" (NIV)
In Philippians 3, the Apostle Paul tells us how he lived the victorious life,
“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
What are you keeping that you should throw away? What are you remembering that you should be forgetting? What are you digging up that Jesus has buried by His grace? “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20, KJV). Don’t dwell on your past, your mistakes, your sin.
Forget it . . . and fix your eyes on Jesus.