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When Seeing Prompts a Reminder

Have you ever seen something and suddenly remembered some other unrelated thing?

It’s as if something visual sends a spark across the brain, which fires up the remembering part of your brain. (I’m pretty sure that’s not a scientific explanation. But that doesn’t mean it’s not real, right?) I’m not sure exactly how that works, but I think it’s likely that you can relate to the sensation.

It usually happens quite suddenly . . . unexpectedly. And awkwardly! Know why? Because you suddenly remember something you don’t even remember forgetting.

It’s how God wired us. And He knows that full well.

So, you’ve probably figured out by now that I’m a visual person. It’s a trait that carries over into my spiritual life. I attribute this in part to my religious upbringing. We were surrounded by icons. Not to worship . . . but remember. To remember the God-event behind what’s depicted. To this day I choose to surround myself with visual reminders of my identity in Christ.

God provided an assortment of visual prompters for the Israelites. The sacrificial system He instituted with them was a very tangible one—filled with sights, sounds, and smells. I think possibly it’s because He knows that where eyes wander, hearts often follow.

In Numbers 15, God gave them yet another prompt.

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them:

‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on

the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel.

You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember

all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and

not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes.

Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to

your God (Nu 15:37-40).

In wearing the vestments of their priesthood, a simple blue tassel was meant to remind them to obey. This little item served a big purpose. With each notice of that tassel, they were to remember God’s commands and call to live consecrated lives. Keeping their eyes on something tangible was meant to spark a reminder not to give their hearts away.

Where shall we set our sights?

The world’s a stage filled with reminders of what God has said . . . and done. Determine to use the physical as faith-prompters, if necessary. Use sites about you as

  • Reminders of His expectancy for obedience

  • Reminders to live set apart from the world

  • Reminders to adorn the heart with vestments of the Lord’s priesthood—the Fruit of the Spirit

Here are a few examples to help tinder that spark:

When you gaze upon the sun,
Remember the light of His written Word.

When you gaze upon the trees,
Remember the Cross and the call to deny self.

When you gaze upon the ground,
Remember we are stewards to tend it.

When you gaze upon the sparrow,
Remember God’s faithful provision and be generous.

Fix your gaze upon God’s majesty all around,
Remembering your Holy Father is ever-present.

When your eyes of faith need to remember the unseen things of God, look for a tangible visual aid God provides—even if it is something as simple as a small, blue tassel.

God, I set my gaze upon the eternal kingdom of God and the Author of our faith—for the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever (2 Cor 4:18).

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