Who likes a good challenge?
As someone who is motivated by deadlines, impending races, and the like, I’ll admit that the subject line drew me in: ‘Your 21-day Scripture Memory Challenge is inside!’
The email from Gretchen at Well-Watered Women invited readers to commit to memorizing Psalm 1 by “eradicating excuses and establishing routines we can use each day to hide God’s Word in our hearts.” Her no-nonsense approach worked, and for the first time in a decade, I committed to memorizing Scripture.
For 21 days, the amount of time some say it takes to form a habit, I had to be all in. No excuses.
A month later, challenge imperfectly complete, here are some things I learned.
DON’T wait for the perfect time or place. I thought I would have the most free time before bed. Reality? By 9 pm I was just too tired. Instead I found myself listening to and reading the text while running, cleaning, and waiting in line at the bank. Doodling the verses (I was often coloring with my son anyway) also helped them stick.
DO keep yourself accountable. Before starting we were strongly encouraged to download the daily guide and find an accountability partner. I printed out the guide but chose to go it alone. This was a mistake. I needed the extra ‘oomph’ that comes from being accountable to a friend or peer.
DON’T completely ignore the context. My assignment on day one was to read the chapter twice and try to gain some context: Do we know the author? How does this chapter fit in the Bible as a whole? I read the text but didn’t bother to go deeper. I would have benefited from asking more questions.
DO expect the Holy Spirit to show up. Psalm 1 is six verses long and chock full of imagery. Though it seems easy to memorize, I found myself getting stuck in the same spots and forgetting entire lines. I prayed. I quit for a bit. And then something weird happened. I started to remember more. Words came to me throughout the day. The Holy Spirit showed up again and again, multiplying my small efforts.
Have you recently memorized Scripture? What was your experience? I’d love to hear from you.