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.