How Can I Forget!

Saturday, September 28, 2019
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Listen while you read: "Face To Face With Christ My Saviour"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 108:1-4 – My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. (ESV)

Synaptic potentiation is a mechanism in the hippocampus that enables us to remember. In a nutshell, the stronger the chemical pathway connection in our hippocampus to surrounding tissue, the longer the memory lasts. Triggers such as novelty, interest, repetition, and trauma are the main ways that reinforce a chemical pathway for a memory to be retained.

The happenings of life build up the connections, but they will automatically fade away as the strength of the chemical synapse connection diminishes over time through lack of stimulation. It's like wiping a whiteboard clean on the fridge: nothing routine to remember or do. If only life were that simple!

Key events enhance memory, such as when you received your first pay cheque, took your first holiday, had your first kiss, got married, or bought your first house or car. We get emotional feedback from the memories that remind us and strengthen the memory. Likewise, the downside is that traumas, failures, desires, embarrassments, and life-changing events get reinforced, too.

After years of the same routine, it is automatic that one day's functions blur into another, reinforced by that routine. Memory can bite, too, like when I park the car at the supermarket and come out after shopping, wondering for a moment: Where did I park that car?

I was getting ready for the day recently, when I wondered whether I had any antiperspirant on. Fortunately, I could smell the sweet fragrance of the product on my person to let me know: yep, okay, Rod, you did.

It was at this point that I was prompted from above: Where is the fragrance of Jesus? It was a bit like my wife helpfully giving me a nudge to focus on her. When that happens, I know that it is advantageous to listen and expect to have a further, more intrusive prompt. The same goes for God and me.

It appears that I have been taking God for granted, losing His aroma as He walks with me through the day. I know that He is there, but I have not been in contact, giving Him my praise, respect, and attention as I cruised through life on holiday this past summer. Yes, I have been praying, but not really humbling myself before the throne, not really focusing or expecting to hear much either. Life is good, so why bother, right?

So, where was the fragrance of Jesus? It was fast fading away, like a memory, through lack of interaction. Good memories are not a replacement for a meaningful relationship.

Is God asking where the perfume of His love and Word is noticeable on you today? If it's not, come to Him and be refreshed and washed, and know His presence and love. Join me in praying:

Prayer: Lord God, I messed up again. Show me Your way for me today. May I read Your Word and hear what You have to say. May it go deep into my heart to be an anchor, with the fragrance of Jesus going with me through the day. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A great challenge, Rod. God bless.

    Thanks, Rod for this intriguing example.

    Thanks for this reminder, Rod. Blessings.

    Love today’s devotion.
    (Georgia, USA)

    What a helpful presentation! Clear, concise, and easy to read and apply.
    Thank you very much.

    It has been a long time since I’ve heard from you, Rod; but I recognized your writing. Good job!!! I “smell” your Jesus all the way across the pond.
    Keep on keeping on.

    Hi R;
    Thank you for your honesty in this devotional and reminding us to keep the fragrance of God vivid in our memory.

    Hello Rod,
    Thanks for writing. Very good advice that we don’t forget to give thanks and praise to God as He cares for us each and every day.

    As always Rod! It has struck me that you mention ‘humbling yourself before the throne of God; paying attention and listening for a response from Him”. Also paying Him your respect and praise. Perhaps this is what I need to be more intentional about, in order to, as you say, sense the aroma of Christ both within and around me. Thank you for this ‘new’ thought.

    Good morning Rod,
    A good devotional this morning, several words I have never heard and have no idea what they are, however I do remember the first of the many things you mention, first dollar I made, literally, the first car I bought, the first house I bought, when I was 20. But I quite often don’t remember why I came to my study/office, to get whatever it was.
    Thanks for writing

    Thank you for your devotional in encouraging us to read the Word more. Yesterday I read a tract that encourages us to spend the first 7 minutes of the day in prayer and in God’s Word. A few years ago, I also made a goal of reading 5 Psalms and 1 Proverb every day starting on the 1st of the month after starting Bible Study Fellowship. I have also been reading through the Bible each year and found two schedules that have been helpful. It is a reminder that the Word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path.

    Thanks, Rodney for your faithfulness.

    Good one Rod. Thanks.

    Dear Rod Marshal,
    I especially liked these lines:
    “Is God asking where the perfume of His love and Word is noticeable on you today? If it’s not, come to Him and be refreshed and washed, and know His presence and love.”
    Thank you.


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