It happened again yesterday. A young child was left buckled in his car seat while his great-grandparents were in a store for two hours. They simply forgot he was in the car.
The outside temperature was over 100. It was closer to 140 inside the car. The little boy never had a chance. Because not just one person forgot, but two.
Forgetting can be devastating.
Can you imagine how that couple feels today? And the grandparents? And the parents? They’ll never get over it.
Robyn and I once forgot our second daughter in her car seat. Fortunately, it wasn’t hot and the van was parked inside the garage. It only took us a few minutes to realize we’d left her.
As human beings, we have a remarkable capacity to forget. We forget appointments. We forget birthdays. We forget why we just walked into a room. We forget children in their car seats.
Forgetting doesn’t always lead to death, but there are other serious consequences. And we’re all vulnerable. Everyday.
That’s why in Deuteronomy 4, Moses said to the nation of Israel, “watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget” and “remember the day you stood before the Lord your God” and “be careful not to forget.”
It’s why in Proverbs 4, Solomon says, “Do not forsake wisdom” and “hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”
We forget God. We forget His instructions. We forget what He’s done in our lives.
And then we live as if He practically doesn’t even exist. We face problems on our own. We worry. We become consumed with anxiety. We wear ourselves out trying to get our needs met. We chase after things we think will bring us happiness and fulfillment, but only leave us wanting more.
All because we forget Him.
Here’s a simple test to see if you’ve forgotten God: if you want anyone or anything more than you do God, then you’ve forgotten Him.
He isn’t meant to be a compartment in our lives. He’s not an add-on. He’s not an app to amuse us when we’re bored.
He’s the point. Of everything. There is no other point.
Have you forgotten that?
The newspaper included a suggestion for remembering there’s a child in the backseat. Place a stuffed animal in the car seat. Then whenever you buckle a child into the seat, move the stuffed animal to the front seat with you. Seeing the stuffed animal reminds you have a child back there.
Maybe you and I need a stuffed animal. Something to remind us there’s a Point. And we’re not it.