I'm continually working on memorizing something. It's usually a chapter of the bible. This school year I'm working on Deuteronomy 6. I'm on verse 22 now actually. If you want to test me on this and you know me personally, go ahead, ask. If you can stand to listen that long, I'll recite the first twenty-one verses for you.
Now, it's not that I'm a "super-Christian" or Bible geek. I just happen to have connected with a good system for doing this. The mom's group I'm in has a "Scripture Memory Challenge". Every month during our season calendar (October through May) we have a chance to recite from one of two chapters of the bible. For every three verses we say correctly, we get to fill out a ticket for a drawing. And every month a name is drawn and the winner gets to choose a free book off the book table.
There are a couple of good things about this that make it work so well:
- accountability: I know every month when I go to the meeting I have an opportunity to recite (or not).
- long-term repetition: any one can memorize a short piece for a short time. But repeating the same thing over 8 months time puts it in to long term memory. I can still recite large parts of James 1 and it's been over a year and a half since I finished working on it.
- goal incentive: that possibility of a free book is a major enticement for me. It keeps me going beyond learning just an extra verse or two each month to at least three.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Haven't figured out yet what you want to do for Lent? How about a 40-day memory challenge? Try to work those three points into your plan: find someone to ask you how it's going; work on a short passage, adding a verse every couple of days and do so for the whole 40 days (or however much is left now); and finally, plan an Easter reward for yourself for completely memorizing what you've chosen.
Are you with me? I'm still working on Deut. 6, but by Easter I plan to be to the end of the chapter and maybe on to Ephesians 5. Need suggestions for what to work on? Just ask. Let me know too if you're taking my challenge.