As I read the other day, I came across the word forge.
Of course, I knew what it meant, but it looked odd to me. Then I realized why. It is so close to the word forget.
To forge is to make, shape, or create. To forge on is to proceed, which was the context in which I read that day. To forget is to fail or cease to remember. While forgetting can happen because of intention or lack of it, forging on is purposeful. Forgetting is a leaving behind; forging on is a pursuing into.
One small letter separates them. That letter creates a striking distinction.
Why does it matter?
That day, it became a health check. I considered a specific situation in my past and asked myself how I was forging on because of it and what I was forgetting because of it. I want to be sure I’m leaving the right things behind and pressing forward into the right things. We can forge into the wrong and forget the wrong things, and those responses have significant impact on our lives. I took some time to consider other situations, including ones I find myself in right now—and my response matters. What I choose to leave behind and how I choose to do so, as well as how I move forward and what I focus on, matters. My choices determine how well I’m dealing with the past and what I’m carrying into the future. It reveals my focus, hope, and pursuit.
And it reveals my faith.
The fact that the only letter that differs between forge on and forget is T did not escape me. I immediately thought of the expression “to a T,” which reflects precision. And that’s what faith does for me. It’s a precision check, a truth check. I still get things wrong at times. I forget the wrong things and forge toward the wrong things. But when I look to God regularly, he doesn’t let me get it wrong for long. The process and purpose are too important to him for that. I’m too important to him for that.
So are you.