Selective memory

Exodus 16:2-15

I have a special “Macro” lens for my camera. It’s job is to selectively focus on little things. If I want to get a broad picture of the landscape, I need to switch lenses. We all suffer from selective memory. Even when we talk about our day over dinner, we selectively focus on the things most likely to make us feel that we deserve that second desert. Most of the arguments that we have with our loved ones, involve a heavy dose of selective memory. So too, the conflicts that arise in church.


As the people travel their transition through the dessert in Exodus 16, they remember certain things about Egypt. There was plenty of water. They had fleshpots. They had bread to sop up the gravy. They had cucumbers and garlic. 


Moses says, “You had Pharaoh throwing your kids into the river!”


We need a wide angle lens to understand why God brings transition and wilderness into our lives.  When we were in Egypt, we mourned for our murdered children. We were slaves. When we left Egypt, we feared for our lives. Then the mighty hand of God parted the Red Sea and set us free. Now we are in the wilderness. We selectively remember Egypt. We don’t have a broad enough perspective to see the great love of God.


God says, “Lift up your eyes and see that I am providing bread for you in the wilderness.”

The grasshopper's compound eyes enable him to see all around him
Pentecost 20