I know that some of you will think I am strange, but I kind of like history. Like some of you, I was never that good at memorizing dates, but I sure do like the stories that come through history. The value of history though is not the stories, but the lessons you learn or don’t learn from it. A fellow named George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. The folks in Narcotics Anonymous have a famous saying, “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.”
I sure understand why we sometimes want to “forget” the past. The concept of forgiveness has a bit of a connection with that idea. There are some things that we ought to forget. We ought to forget the grudges and the things that others “owe” us. But if we forget too much of the past, we will find ourselves in that old Groundhog Day loop, repeating the same things over and over again, hoping things turn out differently but getting the same results.
When the children of Israel faced that terrible problem where they were caught between the advancing Egyptian army on one side and the Red Sea on the other, Moses told them that something wonderful was about to happen. And they needed to remember. And Moses said to the people: “Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place…(Exodus 13:3)
Remember your history lessons.