Remember to Forget

Remember to Forget

On April 3, 1989, Michigan was playing Seton Hall for the NCAA men’s basketball national championship. The game came down to the final second when a Michigan guard by the name of Rumeal Robinson drove for the basket and was fouled while shooting.

Michigan was behind one point. He had two foul shots with one second left. If he makes the foul shots Michigan wins; if he misses, they lose.

About two weeks before that, Michigan had played a game against Wisconsin. It was the same scenario when Robinson drove for the basket with Michigan trailing by one point. He was fouled and missed both foul shots and Michigan lost that game.

Seton Hall called time out. A couple of the players walked by Robinson going to the bench and said, “Remember Wisconsin, remember Wisconsin.” Some hecklers behind the Michigan bench were yelling, “Remember Wisconsin, remember Wisconsin.” Robinson went out and calmly sank the two foul shots and Michigan won their first national championship, 80-79.

When asked how he got it out of his mind what had happened in Wisconsin, he said, “I learned from that never to look back. Forget it! I was only looking forward to making two shots that would win for us a national championship.” You can either look back or look forward–it’s your choice.

Learning to forget is a valuable talent. We’ve all had things in the past that would hinder us from going forward in the future. If we continue to dwell on those things, we will ruin our future. Yesterday might have been a disappointment, but don’t dwell on yesterday. The earth has made a complete circle around the sun since yesterday. Forget it and look forward to this new day and its possibilities.

Dr. John Claypool tells about his grandfather who lived in southern Kentucky on a farm. Six generations of his family lived there. They had an orchard, and one day the wind blew down an old pear tree that had been there as long as anybody could remember. Claypool said that his grandfather was grieved to lose the tree because he had both played on it as a young boy and had eaten fruit from it all of his life.

A neighbor came by and said to his grandfather, “I am really sorry to see your pear tree blown down.” His grandfather replied, “I am sorry too. It was a real part of my past.”

The neighbor then inquired, “What are you going to do?” His grandfather paused and thought for a minute and said, “I am going to pick the fruit and burn what’s left.”

That’s a good way to live. Pick the fruit, but burn what’s left.

Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross. One day a friend was asking her something about her past when she had been mistreated. When she ignored the comment, her friend said, “Don’t you remember that?” Clara Barton replied, “No, I don’t remember it. I distinctly remember forgetting it.”

Forgetting what needs to be forgotten is not a sign of old age. It is a sign of a new age that God is giving us. It’s a sign that we can forget what we need to forget, then do what needs to be done. Paul said to forget what is behind you, reach forward to what is in front of you, and move towards the prize of fulfilling God’s purpose for you. (Philippians 3:13-14)

It’s time to remember what to forget!

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