Ann Farabee column: Do we forget?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 27, 2021

By Ann Farabee

Have you heard a speaker speak, a teacher teach, or a preacher preach lately?

Research shows that within an hour of hearing someone speak, we forget 50% of it.

Within 24 hours, we forget 70%. Within 7 days, we forget 90%.

Those percentages seem a bit optimistic for my memory capability.

The 90% forgetting arrives much more quickly.

Research also shows that if we almost forget something, but bring it to remembrance, the memory will then become stronger and stay longer.

For example: I had forgotten that my 13-year-old brother had ridden with me to a basketball game at the high school I was attending as a 17-year-old. So at 10 p.m., he was waiting at the school in the dark on the steps outside the gym for his beloved sister to remember that she forgot him. Yes, this was well before cellphones.

Sometimes we tend to forget things or even people.

But forget God? Who? Us?

How could that happen?

God made the world. God made us. God is with us.

God keeps our world spinning.

Jeremiah 2:32 says, “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet, my people have forgotten me days without number.”

A bride forgetting her wedding dress? Unlikely.

That dress would be a very important part of her day.

In this verse, Israel had forgotten God — because they had become focused on the world.

Not only had they forgotten God — but they had forgotten God for days without number.

I am glad we don’t do that!

We remember God, don’t we?

We would certainly not go days without him!

Because he is the most important part of our day!

Or would we?

Sometimes our personal prayer life may weaken.

Sometimes our personal praise life may be forgotten.

Sometimes reading God’s word may be neglected.

Sometimes being in God’s house may be pushed aside.

Sometimes teaching our children about God may be overlooked.

We may then realize that maybe we have forgotten God.

How sad to think that the most important part of our day could be forgotten.

The night I left my brother at the gym happened because I had lost touch with him while we were there. I had been busy watching the game and talking with friends. 

I had forgotten to remember the person who meant the most to me — my brother.

I turned that car around like a maniac and headed back as quickly as possible.

I was focused on one thing only — getting back to him!

When I wheeled around the circle drive that led to the very dark gym, I was afraid he would not be there. I was afraid he would be angry.

But no. He was standing there — looking for me. He smiled, ran toward me, jumped in the car, while saying, “I sure am glad you finally remembered me!”

I was, too. That could have been hard to explain to my parents.

I believe that is what God does when we forget him.

He keeps waiting. He keeps looking for us.

Then, when he sees us heading back toward him, he smiles and runs to meet us.

For he knows that we finally remembered the most important part of our day.

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at or

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