“FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) invented the TLI (Three Letter Initialism)” – Ken Palzewicz
Most people know that an acronym is a word in which each letter spells out another word. NASA is a perfect example. Everyone knows that those are the people who send other people into outer space. Many would be hard pressed to tell you that NASA stands for the “National Aeronautics and Space Administration” But, many also are unaware that what we think is an acronym, is actually an initialism. An initialism is an abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately (e.g., CPU ). Merriam-Webster.
Many careers are swamped with initialism. Look at the Federal Government (NSA, FBI, CIA), Health Care (EKG, ACL, EMT), or Financial (CEO, GDP, CPA) just to name a few. We use initialisms so often in our conversations, we even forget that others may be clueless to our particular favorites.
I was talking to my sister the other week and she asked me how my school year was going. I replied that it was going great, except now, because I was entering into “IEP” season. She gave me a puzzled look and asked me what that meant. I had to back up and explain that those initials stood for “Individual Education Program“. This is a legal document that every student in Special Education is required to have. It has to be done annually, most of them falling due between February and April. Each one takes a lot of research, interviews and many hours to complete.
I have an initialism that is also a Palzewisms. I like to tell people that I have a disability called “CRS”. They are initially very concerned until I elaborate that it simply means “CAN’T REMEMBER STUFF!” My wife is amazed at my ability to retain the most arcane trivia while simultaneously blanking on the pertinent facts of our shared history. For example, I can name pretty much every character from every interpretation of “STAR TREK”, but can’t remember who I sat next to last Sunday at a church meeting.
Memorization is a skill that is fading from our lives. When was the last time you memorized a phone number? We don’t have to do that anymore because we carry these devices that allow us to talk to people simply by touching a picture of their face. Addresses are mapped out for us by GPS (another initialism). We even have apps that store our passwords so we can use other apps!
There is not much I have to remember anymore. If I don’t know something, I just ask my girlfriend, Alexa. If she states “hmm, I don’t know that one”, I rationalize that I don’t need to know it either! We have calendars to remind us where to be, social media to remind us of upcoming birthdays and events and even news stories to remind us what happened a couple of years ago.
But, there is one thing I do remember! I can give you precise detail of every conversation I had with someone about my relationship with Jesus Christ! I remember every testimonial I ever delivered and everyone I shared my savior with!
My memory (or lack thereof), like all my other faculties, is a gift from God. The scriptures are stocked with people, both individuals, and groups, that God remembered. In Genesis 9:15, the Bible shows us His perfect memory:
“I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.”
God remembers us! He knows all our ins and outs, comings and goings. He remembers every prayer we lifted and every humble thank you. He has every smile on his refrigerator and every tear in the palm of his hand.
More importantly, He remembers his promises. He sent his SON, Jesus, just like he said to Adam and Eve. He made Israel great, just like he told Abraham. Every morning I remember his promise and simply pray. “Lord, today would be a good day to come back, but, if not, help me to be like you!”
And when he comes back, those who have a relationship with him, need not fear! Though I am a sinful human being and continually fall short of God’s standard, I imagine that when I see Jesus face to Face, he will smile, give me a hug and tell me “CRS”
Can’t Remember Sin
Prayer: Lord, remember us always as we remember you to the others in our lives!