I had a medical procedure on Monday where they stuck a tube down my throat and looked at my stomach to see if there was an underlying cause for acid reflux. Pictures were included at no extra charge. Since it is unpleasant to have something stuck down your throat, I was given a drug cocktail which included a drug named Versed(™, I bet.) One of it’s properties was as an amnesiac and they upped the dose slightly since I am resistant to it.
Hap (my wife) came to pick me up and we stopped off at McDonalds (™, has to be!) and had a Big Mac (™, invented by Ray Kroc) meal. (It really does mess up the flow of an article to acknowledge all these trademarks. Let’s start over.)
I went to a surgery center and the Doc stuck a long scope down my throat. He gave me a drug. It made me forget things. Afterwards my wife and I got a cheeseburger at a restaurant.
Later that afternoon, Hap told me some of the things I had said just afterwards and where I was when she came to get me. I didn’t remember any of it. Those events were completely wiped from my memory. At my age this is frightening because it reminds me of the fate my Mom and to a lesser extent, my Dad experienced. I am terrified of losing most or all of my ability to think. It is obvious that eventually one will never realize he can’t think but that is slim comfort to me. I like my mind and I want to keep it. The question is: do I like my memories and wish to keep all of those?
Many people wish to know if God will wipe the pain and misery from our memories when we get to heaven? One person wondered if she will forget the members of her family who reside in the Lake of Fire? She is certain it will make her miserable to see them there. So are some memories precious and others profane? Is there any purpose for the bad ones?
I wonder if the answer lies in childbirth. A high school friend of mine, Suzanne, was one of the premier masters runners in the USA in her early 40’s. She ran marathons at high speed and trained rigorously. Once, she was the invited runner to compete in a marathon in Thailand. Fearful that she would be defeated by the hot, humid climate, Suzanne had a high speed treadmill in a training room in her house and she turned up the heat and wore a wet suit to train for the conditions. (This in the middle of an Alaskan winter.) She flew to Thailand and won the race along with a nice cash prize. Even so, she said that giving birth was much harder than running a marathon. So why do women keep doing it?
The joy of having the newborn quickly erases most of the memory of the pain and if you wait long enough, it is apparently no longer formidable. (Instead the child is formidable.) In other words, joy conquers pain.
That is perhaps the answer and explains what happens in Heaven. Losing our memories to any degree means we would lose part of our existence. We are the sum of our experiences at any point in our lives and even the evil we have done and experienced has seasoned our souls to the degree we trusted God throughout. Bad memories embitter us if we don’t trust Him. So I don’t think we will forget anything but we will have a new perspective and attitude as we remember the evil we encountered along the way. Joy will transform the pain.
Isaiah 66:22 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth
Which I make will endure before Me,” declares the Lord,
“So your offspring and your name will endure.
23 “And it shall be from new moon to new moon
And from sabbath to sabbath,
All mankind will come to bow down before Me,” says the Lord.
24 “Then they will go forth and look
On the corpses of the men
Who have transgressed against Me.
For their worm will not die (i.e. this is hell)
And their fire will not be quenched;
And they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.” (So we will NOT forget)