9/14/2009

I Should Do This More Often...

I've always been fascinated by how our brains work. Not so much with the actual biology of it all, but more with the way that we retain information. Or, more specifically, how we retain certain information. For instance, I can quote line after line from an astounding number of movies and TV shows. I can tell you who was in each movie or TV show. I can tell you what else they starred in and with whom. I can tell you how much the movie cost to make, what it made in the theaters and who directed it. I can even tell you how many (if any) awards it won. But I can't tell you a single sports statistic. (Well, unless it has to do with Brett Favre.)

Why are our brains able to so easily retain some information and not others? Why do some things stick in our minds like cake to a pan without the pre-grease, while others slide off into the black like a teflon pan covered in olive oil? (Cooking simile? Check.) Who knows?

What I do know is that a lot of people (myself included) use this intellectual enigma as an excuse for why they aren't memorizing scripture.

Now, don't get me wrong. I've got a few verses tucked away. Your tried and true John 3:16s, Jeremiah 29:11s, and 2 Chronicles 14:14s (among others). But, for the most part, scripture memorization is a spiritual discipline that I've never practiced as much as I should.

And in recent weeks, I've been convicted of this... big time.

A few weeks ago, I was feeling more anxious than I have in a long time. You know. The kind of anxiousness you feel in your chest. And as I began to pray about it, God brought part of a verse to mind. Something about the "peace (not Pease) of God that transcends all understanding". I didn't know where I could find that verse (or what the rest of it said) But I knew that at that moment, I could really use that type of peace (I could have also used some Pease, but that's a different story).

So I looked up the verse and it turned out to be Philippians 4:6-7:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. TNIV

I immediately committed it to memory. I've held tight to it, and have been encouraged by it, for weeks now.

But I still didn't really begin memorizing any other scriptures to add to my mental arsenal.

Then, last week, I read this tweet by Rick Warren (who, B the W, if you're not following on Twitter, you're missing out):

"A preacher's greatest tool is MEMORIZED Scripture. If it's stored in your mind, the Spirit can remind you when you need it."

Wow. That's totally true. There's not really many situations when the Holy Spirit is going to need to remind me of my favorite line from Paul Blart: Mall Cop (which, by the way, is "You're like a really good meal. You make me feel stuffed... with feelings"). But I can't count how many times a day I could use wisdom from God's Word.

So over the past few weeks, whenever God has led me to a particular scripture, I've made sure to write it down (or underline and bookmark it in my Bible) so that I can begin to add to my mental arsenal. Here's a few that have "stuck like cake":

  • John 3:30
  • John 14:1
  • 2 Corinthians 5:15

    I want to make a conscious effort to improve in this area. I hope you'll do the same...
  • 1 comment:

    Joshua said...

    I feel like anyone -- at any given point in time -- could probably use some more Pease.