Seasons of Scripture Memory
Spring: Fresh zeal and much planting mark springtime. For the memorizing Christian, this may be a renewed conviction that you need Scripture in your heart. Perhaps you have a new set of verses, a new goal, or a new friend to recite with. Energy is high and you plant verse seeds regularly and expectantly. Summer: Here you settle in. You tend and till the verses to accurate, confident recitations. These are good times hiding the Word as rhythm and system settle in. Zeal is not gone, but it’s overshadowed by routine. Memorizing is “what I do.” A few storms of busyness and distraction shake the verse blooms, but unless a complete drought of inconsistency sets in, most verses will survive.
Fall: Now you know your verses well. They come to mind in conversation. They are at-the-ready for trials. You attain your goal and finish your verse set. The verse harvest is sweet. The mental effort to plant, tend, and harvest has tired you. You tell yourself a break is needed and well-deserved. Winter: A break is not all bad. This is a time to meditate deeply within and share God’s Word with others. Let this verse storehouse overflow in your heart and life. But a break should have a definitive beginning and end lest your “break” become barrenness with just a fond recollection of yesteryear. To launch into spring will mean seeking the Light of World (“What Scripture should I memorize?”) and believing the effort of planting will once again yield a worthwhile harvest. Which season are you in? Is it time to move to the next season?
- Laura, I really like your seasons post. I have been memorizing as a way of life since 2001 when I was 43 years old. To use your agricultural analogy, I have discovered that there is a "weeding" activity that I need to accomplish on a regular basis to maintain my Scripture Memory Garden. This weeding involves dealing with the problem of "leakage". Leakage is a term that I heard the late Howard Hendricks use in the context of memorizing Scripture. He described it as portions of the verse leaking or disappearing from memory. As I have gotten older, I have experienced this phenomenon. The way to overcome this phenomenon is to regularly commit to the weeding activity. I have committed several thousand verses to memory since 2001 and if I hope to keep them in memory and maintain precision, I need to say all of them at least once per month. If I do not commit to this, I will experience degradation or "leakage" when I need the verse. Because of the volume of verses, I do maintenance or weeding all of the time. Like the real weeds in my garden, if I let them go, I find myself trying to deal with a garden that has been overrun. Sometimes, I have to pause all new memory work and just do maintenance for a week or so. This is not meant to discourage anyone but maintaining all of the work that has been done requires its own plan. It is reality or at least it has been for me. My mind is not as nimble as the 3rd grader that I once was and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is certainly at work in my brain. On a positive note, my commitment to Scripture memory for the past 18 years has been one of the greatest blessings and joys of my life. Would I do it all over again? Absolutely! Praise God for His grace and kindness to me! Thank you for your website. It's great!
- Joseph Fox, Thanks for this valuable insight. You are absolutely right about leakage! But instead of ignoring or fretting about the problem, it seems you've found a rhythm and system to keep the weeds down. An overrun garden is discouraging, but faithful, consistent effort makes a difference. Thanks for sharing this!
- I need to meditate (think about this) as I have so many things in my life, including a Bible study group at church. But it´s necessary!