Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On Memorization and My Failing Memory

I read somewhere that at the age of 30, your mind begins to slow down. You are unable to remember as much as you could in your younger years, and a normal aging process begins to take place.

When I read that, I panicked.

And then I thought, ‘how much can I cram in before I turn 30?’ :)

This was just one reason why I began intentionally memorizing scripture several months ago.

But for you to fully understand where I was coming from, you have to know some of my scripture memory history…

I grew up always attending kid’s programs in our local church. Always there was verse memorization required, which seemed to come pretty easy for me.

Because really, after a few years, many of the verses were the same. I am thankful for that repetition, as it drilled those verses into my head even further. But at the same time it gave my little inflated ego the idea that I “knew them all.”

I didn’t have the whole Bible memorized, but I felt like I had the key verses down pat - and surely that was good enough.

Fast-forward to college. I attended a small Bible school, which again required lots of verse memorization.

Only this time it wasn’t so easy.

Oh yes, I still got to pull out my old stand-bys every so often, but there were many, many verses required that I did not know already. Hard verses. Verses I didn’t fully understand. Tongue-twisting verses, sometimes.

And I struggled.

I could do ok with the verses..but remembering all those references? Forget it! Have a few dozen verses with references and punctuation memorized for an exam? It seemed impossible.

I did alright. I passed, anyway. :) Slowly the verses became easier, as I developed a system for memorizing and retaining them - at least long enough to get them on a test paper.

And when I graduated, it pretty much stopped.

I knew verse memorization was important. But I had done so much of it over the years...really, hadn’t I performed my “reasonable service” already? I was daily reading and studying the word, but memorization was gone.

And then the teens. Those beautiful, Christ-like teens.

They came up here from North Carolina to help with our VBS last summer. And as a motivation, they were promised help with their financial needs for the trip if they memorized the entire book of James.

Shut the front door. The whole book of James??

And they did it too. One gal did it not even thinking she was able to come...and it paid off. The whole book of James...I just couldn’t wrap my mind around that!

And I thought, “If they can do it, I can too!”

And that was the day I began memorizing Philippians. The entire book.

It has been slow going. I didn’t start out with much of a plan, so some days and weeks it still got pushed to the back burner. Now I have a better system going and really feel that I am making some progress!

I’ll be back tomorrow to share what my system is, in hopes that it will help you develop your own habit. In the meantime, I’d love to hear - what is your view on memorizing scripture? Have you done it in the past? Do you have a “served my time” mentality, or do you still make memorization a part of your worship to God in the present? I'd love to hear what works or doesn't work for you!

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