I always tell people I’m bad at memorizing things. But that is not the whole truth. I was good at memorizing all kinds of things growing up. But as I get older, I struggle.
There might be no more room at the hostel (aka my brain). We are bombarded with over 5,000 messages a day, which is crazy to think. So maybe my brain is in shutdown mode. Or maybe it’s too full of lyrics to songs from the ’80s and’ 90s that I thought were life changing at the time, so I memorized every word in my roomâ¦ out loudâ¦ night after night. Bless my mother’s heart. She is a saint.
During my formative years, I did not memorize many scriptures. I managed to memorize the names of the Twelve Apostles, but it was more about candy than spiritual skill. A family friend had watched a game show where the person used a nursery rhyme to name all the apostles and made a lot of money, so every time I visited him I was given a candy if I recited it from memory. Candy is my kryptonite. I was busy memorizing and even to this day it comes out of the tongue and still makes me crave sugar.
Jesus called them one by one,
Pierre, AndrÃ©, Jacques and Jean.
Then came Philippe, Thomas too,
Matthieu and BarthÃ©lemy.
James the one they least called
Simon, also Thaddeus.
Twelve apostles made by Judas,
Jesus was betrayed by him.
About a year ago, I was reading a story about Vera Neuenswander Schmitz, a native of Jefferson City, Missouri, and Olympic prospect and triple All-American pole vaulter. She’s amazing, all of you. When competing, she would write a verse from the scriptures in Sharpie on her body, so that she could stay focused on the bigger picture.
She would later turn this vision into a business, Dwell Differently, to help others memorize the scriptures through a simple visual and mnemonic tool. Each month, they send out a scripture card, a keychain tag, and three temporary tattoos to work on memorizing a verse for the month.
It has been incredible. Over the past year, I have memorized the scriptures more easily than I expected. It turns out that you can teach an old dog new tricks. I was also touched by the fact that I needed this exact verse in my life and how so successful meditating on it over and over again has been. In October, I worked on Isaiah 40: 8: âThe grass withers and the flowers wither, but the word of our God endures forever.
Of all the things to remember in this world, I think God’s love letters to us are at the top of the list. Still, I’m often inclined to work on so many other things – remembering grocery lists, reciting the latest pop song, or rehashing the Kansas City Chiefs record.
While the facts and figures are great, what I really need to hear the most in my life is the unconditional love of my Father over and over again, as well as strong reminders of how I should. love others in this world. This is what I want to get out of the language as easily as the lyrics to my favorite ’80s jams.
It is November, the month of thanksgiving and expression of gratitude in all things. My hope is that we can continue to memorize what really matters and let go of all the trivial things. There is so much room at the hostel that we will learn as Christmas approaches. Choose the words of love. It is a gift that keeps on giving.