Monday, February 26, 2007

Lenten Memory Challenge

When was the last time you memorized something? High school? College? You can't remember?

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:
  1. accountability: I know every month when I go to the meeting I have an opportunity to recite (or not).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
By the way, it's no mistake that it's the Bible I'm memorizing and not Robert Frost's poetry or some other literature. I stand to gain far more than a free book. I'm setting myself up for better living.

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.
Psalm 119:9-11

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.

6 musings:

For now... said...

I LOVE this idea! Bible memorization has been on my heart for quite sometime now. I just get overwhelmed where to start! There is SO MUCH in there that I want in my head. I need to come up with a plan.

Craver VII said...

Great idea!! I just began a discipleship program that is going to eat up a big chunk of time, but it sounds like a worthy challenge otherwise.

This is a great new look for your blog! Was that your own picture?

Charity Singleton said...

Good ideas! I like connecting this discipline to Lent. Memorizing and meditating often go hand in hand for me, and having one passage to reflect on again and again for Lent will put in a good place to hear from the Lord. I'm keeping this in mind!

A Musing Mom said...

For now - pick a familiar passage that has meaning to you. You'll be halfway there to having it down.

Craver - let me know if you take the challenge (as for time, it doesn't have to take much. I just make a point of reading the passage I'm working on - or a portion of it - every day). And thanks for noticing my efforts at sprucing up the AMM blog. Yes, I took that photo myself.

Charity-I'll be interested to hear what passage you pick for Lenten reflection. I may follow you (and I'm enjoying the Lenten reflections on your web site too).

Charity Singleton said...

I'm leaning toward Psalm 37. It was one of the early Lenten readings from the prayer book and has landed in my life (again) at just the right time. I'm horrible at being disciplined for scripture memory. Accountability helps. If you're ever over at my blog, ask me about it!

L.L. Barkat said...

hmmm... I think that for now I will enjoy hearing you all recite. To everything there is a season. Right now, my season is going out of doors to hear what God has to say through the creative power of his word. ("And God said, Let there be light..." and so on.)