The Challenge

I admit it.  I have a hard time memorizing Scripture.  A really hard time.  Give me a number to memorize, no problem.  For example, until about 10 years ago, I still remembered my locker combination from junior high.  I have my bank account number memorized as well as my charge card number.  That one makes my husband a little nervous.

So yes, I have a harder time with words.  Tell me your name, and I forget it just a few minutes later.  Or, if I haven’t seen you in awhile, I’m likely to stand there and fumble around for it until you look at me as if I’ve lost my marbles.  I’m sure it has something to do with the way my brain is wired.  Maybe that’s why I was a physics major with a concentration in applied mathematics.  But I still love to write.  Go figure.

Back to my original topic.  This past summer, the pastor at my church, Peace Church, issued a challenge to the congregation.  If a certain number of people memorized Psalm 19, then the September fellowship dinner would be catered.  Never one to pass up a challenge or turn down a free meal, I decided I’d do it.  But of course, being one to procrastinate, I needed a swift kick in the pants that came in the form of Ladies Weekend at the beach.  One of my friends brought copies of Psalm 19, and so began the memorization.

But then I went back to the reality of work and my crazy life, and once more I decided to procrastinate.  Still, God wouldn’t let me go.  He kept on tapping on the shoulder of my spirit and quietly reminding me of the commitment I’d made to myself.  So after a lot of moaning on my part, I finally buckled down.

It was still hard.  Like I said, I’m a numbers person.  At first, nothing sank through my skull.  The words were a mystery to me, like they were written in a different language.  I wanted to stop with the reasoning that some other folks would memorize it, and it wasn’t my responsibility.  But gradually, I began yielding.  Not only did I just try to memorize the words, but I pondered the meaning of them.  What was God trying to teach me?  What was He trying to impress upon me?  And while I cleaned that weekend, I kept dropping by my Bible and taking a peek at Psalm 19.  It took awhile, but I finally memorized.

So what did I learn from Psalm 19?  First, God is a magnificent creator.  “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims His handiwork.”  (Don’t ask me verse numbers.  It was enough to memorize words.)  How true is that!  I also learned that God’s word is indeed going throughout the earth.  “Their [words] go out through the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”  Also, the middle part of the psalm goes through the characteristics of God.  “The law of the Lord is perfect . . . The testimony of the Lord is sure . . . The commandment of the Lord is pure . . . The fear of the Lord is clean . . . The rules of the Lord are true . . .”  Wow!  And finally, “Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins.”  I pondered that one for a long time and essentially realized that presumptions I make about the way my life should look like can easily cause me to drift into sin if I’m not careful.

Okay.  So now I realize that yes, Virginia, I too can memorize scripture.  Not only that, but I can delve into it.  Ponder it.  Learn from it.  I’m now much more motivated.  And not by food.  But hey, the free meal doesn’t hurt either.

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    The Conversation

  1. Kathy says:

    So, Jen does not eat by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God…and free catering!!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. 🙂

  2. admin says:

    Yep. Jen also lives by chocolate.