Wednesday, May 18, 2016
A Work of the Spirit
Every now and again I get the urge to memorize scripture. When I was a boy attending the Pierce Chapel Methodist Church, I was encouraged to practice this discipline. During the Sunday evening worship service, there was a time when children who quoted a memorized verse got a star put by their name on a chart up behind the piano. I liked getting stars by my name so I came each week with a verse. As a child I memorized things like the 1st and 23rd Psalm, John 3:16, and the Bible's shortest verse, "Jesus wept." (John 11:35) Those Bible verses I learned so long ago, I have somehow retained and can still bring to mind without any trouble.
The problem is not what I memorized as a child, but what I try to memorize as an adult. I get this urge to do memory work, get all excited about it, and actually end up with some passage of scripture that seems like something stored away in my memory bank. And as long I recite it daily, it stays there, but miss a few days and I start wondering where it went. I Peter 1:1-9 is a most recent example. Psalm 46 is another. Memorized and then gone.
I have been wondering what there is about me that is so different from now and then. I really do not think it is old age. I still remember other things. The truth is I have more desire to carry the Word in my mind and heart than I ever did, but it still seems to slip away. The Word of God has been the primary directive of my life, but memorizing it has not since childhood been something easily done. Still, I am going to keep at it. There have been those times when something I thought was forgotten suddenly surfaced on the front burner of the old gray matter as if it had been brought to mind by the Holy Spirit who knew I needed a particular Word once again.