Monday, July 18, 2011

Memorize Much?

I'm curious. What is the longest amount of text you've ever memorized? I've memorized some lengthy things in my life. Once, as a narrator in my third grade play, I memorized dozens of paragraphs. The teacher told me I could just read it, since it probably seemed like more than a third grader could memorize, but I memorized it anyway. Can we say over-achiever? It helps that I was born with a pretty good ability for memorizing. It's just something I can do. In high school, for a big school project in english class, I memorized the entire Patrick Henry speech that ends with "give me liberty or give me death." I then proceeded to nerd it up by dressing in period costume and delivering the speech from memory to my class. I got an "A".

One thing I have not spent much time doing in the past is memorizing scripture. But recently, I've been enlightened about some huge benefits of it. Not only is it a good idea to be able to call some of God's words to mind at any time regardless of if a Bible is handy, but when the brain is preoccupied with memorizing or quoting scripture, it is impossible to think about anything else. That can be a huge help for anyone who struggles with any kind of negative thinking. You know how if you try to not think about something you usually think about it even more (the old pink elephant trick...). But if we completely replace our thinking with something different (scripture) our mind is occupied with something good and life-giving.

I'm almost finished memorizing a psalm that has about 20 verses. And that particular psalm has come to mean a lot to me. By memorizing it I feel as if it has become part of my being. I can call it to mind at any moment, I can meditate on just a few words or phrases or say the entire thing in my head. I'm already looking forward to memorizing another chunk of scripture.


Rachel said...

I remember having to memorize that speech that Antony makes in Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar...."Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. That one. And then Philippians 2: 1-13 for bible class in high school. That one I can almost still recite. But the Psalms are wonderful for memorizing (and meditating).

Quad Squad! said...

Good for you Becky! I'm always amazed by people who have memorized large chucnks of Scripture!

I've been reading this book to the kids: My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts. Each letter of the alphabet has a verse to go with it, a short explanation of the verse, and a little story about a couple of kids putting the verse into practice. As you go along, you also memorize the verses. We're up to 8 verses so far! And i love that we now have those verses to easily reference when discussing bad behavior choices!