My Unintentional Hiatus from Memorizing
In many ways 2013 was a year of change for me. Professionally, most of these changes were good as my part-time job became a full-time position shortly after I graduated from high school in 2012. Unfortunately, this also meant I had much less free time to devote to Scripture memorization and other spiritual disciplines, and I struggled to make good use of what free time I did have. I never completely gave up on my memory work, but by the holidays many of my most cherished passages of Scripture were starting to fade from memory.
Although I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions, I resolved to make 2014 a year of recommitment to both Scripture memorization and my walk with God as a whole. I didn’t want to be like the man in Proverbs 12:27 who wasted the venison he took in hunting by neglecting to maintain my many hard-learned verses in memory. I had put in too many hours of hard work to let it all go to waste.
I had just purchased a new iPod, and decided that recording all of my memory verses individually and listening to them during my daily commute would be a simple enough way to get back into Scripture memorization. By adding these verses to a separate playlist and tapping “Shuffle”, I was able to effortlessly review 200+ verses on my way to work each morning. I even figured out a way to use the Bluetooth headset I typically wear while driving to listen to verse after verse while shopping or running other errands.
Of course Memverse continued to be an invaluable part of my memory work, and I resumed using it on a daily basis. I took accuracy and reference recall tests for the first time in months, even though I knew it would likely result in a decrease in my scoring, and used the chapter review feature to reacquaint myself with Isaiah 53 and John 17 – two of my favorite chapters, but ones that I was no longer able to recite verbatim.
Interestingly enough, I discovered that it’s much easier to relearn verses you once knew than it was to learn them in the first place; in only a few weeks I felt confident enough to start quoting most of my complete chapters again, and my overall accuracy was back to where it needed to be.
I also started learning new verses for the first time in months, and found that this made it much easier to stay motivated in my memory work as a whole. As someone who is very goal-oriented, starting work on a new chapter or selection of verses gives me a specific objective to focus on and helps keep me going. As important as review is, I find reciting from the same set of verses day after day to be tiresome and unexciting unless I'm mixing in something new as well.
What about you? How do you stay motivated to continue memorizing Scripture, even when you don't necessarily feel like doing it? Is there a specific routine that works well for you, and if so how do you avoid becoming burnt out through repetition? I'd especially love to hear from any readers who may have, like me, taken an unintentional hiatus from memorizing - even if you haven't yet fully restarted.
11 responses to My Unintentional Hiatus from Memorizing
I experienced an unintentional break last year when entering as a freshman into college... Time-restraints caused my daily memverse sessions to nearly disappear for a month before I got back on track, and I learned very few new verses during that fall semester as well.
While I'm more regular this year both with memverse and with continuing to learn new verses, the unintentional break made me consider a lot of things. First off, it ended my previous goal of averaging three verses a day for memorization that I had been pursuing the year before (I now only do about nine a week or so). While I'm very thankful for all those verses that I have memorized, there was an extent to where memorization was becoming more a chore than a joy, and taking a break helped me return to it with a greater appreciation. I also realized that there are different stages in life, and while I could spend tons of time memorizing verses and soaking in God's word during the Bible Bee, in order to live a balanced life and provide for the future, there's also a time and place to place the emphasis else where. While I placed less emphasis on memorizing verses than I would have liked that fall semester, it was able to give me a fresh perspective for the future. And so I've found that I've been reaping many benefits from it.
Thanks for this post, Dakota! I have a hard time with motivation in a lot of areas, not the least Bible memory and study. Bible Bee has been a huge help with that, knowing that there are thousands of other kids studying the same thing as me. During the Bible Bee "off season," I've started creating memory challenges for myself, my family, my friends, and whoever else wants to join! That's another way I stay motivated. The Memverse community is also a great encouragement for me. :)
Thanks again for sharing this!
Thanks for this good word Dakota. Unintentional hiatii (plural of hiatus? :-) afflict us all, or at least most memorizers I know. I think it's good to consider that memorizing Scripture is like planting good seed, and as Josiah writes above, there may be seasons where our activity is more planting (memorizing new verses) and other seasons where it's more about harvesting--and eating! (reviewing previously learned verses.
I also find that having another person to recite to on a weekly basis for 12-15 weeks is a wonderful motivator to keep going. We all do better with goals, with a clear finish-line, even it's intermediate, so having someone to cheer you on/ hold you accountable is valuable. Knowing you'll recite out loud to a group (say at Scripture Memory's Scriptorium event in Hannibal :-) is also a good stimulus.
Thanks for the good food for thought here, as well as the great ipod idea. Keep up the good work!
what does hiatus mean??
Gloria - Hiatus just means a break or gap.
And, welcome to Memverse!
I certainly have trouble being consistent with memorization. Sometimes it seems to help to do it a little differently (like use flashcards for a change, or go to a different place).
@Arthur According to the dictionary the plural of hiatus is hiatuses. I wouldn't have known either. :)
I ended up unintentionally taking a big break right after the National Bible Bee was over! Only recently did I begin to get into it again, and I'm still not very consistent or vigorous. However, I have realized that it's better to do it occasionally and imperfectly than to not do it at all! Every little bit is profitable. At the same time, I hope I'll keep getting more disciplined about it. I don't know if I'll ever be the greatest memorizer, but if nothing else, it's good to review what I have learned so far.
I realized that I was pretty inconsistent after Nationals as well — my consistency fell dramatically through 2012. My recovery was setting a lot of verses to Pending, changing my settings so I average about fifteen minutes per day (it actually takes me about ten), and adding a calendar appointment to remind me to do it in the morning. I'm still working on becoming more consistent, and hoping for a badge this year :)
How were you able to get verses to your Ipod? I'm challenged in a technological way.
Thanks for sharing your story! It's great that you have discovered ways to fit Scripture memorization into your busy schedule ;D
Ever since I began using Memverse in October 2012, I've never really taken any long "breaks" in memorizing, because it has been such a wonderful help to me! But, if I ever do, I hope to be able to eventually pick up again like you have. Memorizing the Bible is so very important!!