I was reading this article the other day about some 4th century B.C. business transactions inscribed in Aramaic on sherds (broken pieces of pottery, often used the way we use post it notes) that have been excavated in Idumea (about 40 miles southwest of Jerusalem). That’s almost 2,500 years ago. And the inscriptions are still, for the most part, preserved and legible.
It made me think. How many times have I had an idea, for a sermon, a blog post, a book – and lost it? Later I tried to remember it, but too late – it’s gone.
These merchants from the ancient world knew a piece of wisdom that I often forget – write it down. Then you don’t have to keep it in your brain’s active memory – it’s stored in a trustworthy place. I learned that (and much more) from David Allen’s classic book Getting Things Done. If you haven’t read that, go grab a copy now and read it. Seriously. It’s worth it.
Write it down. A simple piece of wisdom that I’ve shared often with others – and it’s so critical.
The (not so) minor prophet Habakkuk received an answer to one of his prayers from God, and God told him, “Write down this message! Record it legibly on tablets.” (Habakkuk 2:2 NET)
You know why I think God told him to write it down? Because despite our confidence that we won’t forget important things, too often time weathers the details of our memory. Pastor Mark Batterson says it well – the shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory.
Write it down. Whether it’s your vision, your new strategy, your goals, your grocery list, or your to do list for today, write it down. Don’t expect that you’ll remember it – you might not.
And who knows – somebody 2,500 years from now might find it.