Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Some days, I wonder if the reason it is so difficult for the Church to attract the attention and devotion of her people is because our busyness causes forgetfulness. Or, could it be that we are distracted? That's certainly a possible explanation during this time of pandemic, politics, economic uncertainty, unemployment, and a host of other distractions.
Has our generation forgotten God? Or, is it that, given all the other things we have to remember, we just don't think of God that often. Maybe we are "practical atheists." By that I mean, we believe in God but don't allow God to have that much to do with our lives.
What does it teach our children when we never forget an athletic event but don't remember to be present for worship and Sunday school? What does it say about our values when we leave a 15% tip on the table at the restaurant but balk at the idea of 10% for God? What does it say about our integrity when we have time for the news, weather, and sports but not for daily prayers?
Do we just forget to remember God?
If so, we're not the first generation to do so. People forgot to remember God after the death of Joshua and his generation. "Moreover, that whole generation was gathered to their ancestors, and another generation grew up after them, who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel" (Judges 2:10).
This is not a rant about making America a "Christian nation" or about how bad people are. It's a reminder to myself to rearrange my life so that the Lover of my soul is not left out and life can be what it is meant to be. I'm missing so much when I'm not trying to see the world and the people around me as God sees. I want to please those I love. I want to please God. But without God, I cannot please God.
So, today, I invite you to pray with me to God, "...that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but remember that we are ever walking in your sight."
The Very Rev'd Ron Pogue
St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church