The Microsoft Corporation conducted a study on the human attention span, with somewhat funny and humiliating results. The researchers found that the modern person has an attention span of about 8 seconds, partly the result of the constant media bombardment that we endure on a regular basis. Compare this with the attention of a goldfish—9 seconds.

Besides being a humorous commentary on our condition, this could also raise concern for our spiritual lives. To remember is a crucial spiritual discipline that’s encouraged throughout Scripture. It’s especially important because it provides for much-needed perspective during difficult seasons of life. In Psalm 77, the attitude of the psalmist is radically transformed as he remembers God’s faithfulness throughout past generations, a memory that helps the writer gain perspective on his current situation. He wrote, “I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago” (Psalm 77:11). And this is far from the only passage of Scripture that describes the importance of remembrance—consider, for instance, the similar directives found in Deuteronomy 7:18.

If we fail to focus on the past in a healthy way, we’ll fail to remember the goodness of God, and in turn, lose our ability to discern His presence in the present. That’s why it’s vital that we recognize the importance of remembering and celebrating what God has done in our lives—to keep what He’s done “constantly in [our] thoughts” (Psalm 77:12). This isn’t for the sake of mere sentimentality, as if to make us feel good for only a short while. No, it transforms our perspective by helping us to realize who God is: “The God of great wonders!” (Psalm 77:14).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Judges 4:4-24