MEMORIZE YOUR WAY TO WORK
By John Hunt
Along with kudos and congratulatory handshakes from the small, core group of men, came the discussions about the various facets of my new job. In essence, my life had suddenly become public forum. The discussion entailed a plethora of subheadings, migrating from what shift I would be working to what I would wear, from the particulars of my responsibilities to my, ahem, salary. Eventually, the discourse settled upon my much-unanticipated arduous commute.
"Youíre gonna drive to Chicago every day, huh?" One man asked.
"Wow, thatís some commute!" Another exclaimed.
"What is that, about an hour?"
Iíve discovered, in my brief 38-year internment on this earth, that everyone is a self-proclaimed expert on just about anything. Advice is readily doled out as liberally as campaign buttons Ė many times causing you to reluctantly accept it even if you donít want to. Such was the case this particular day.
"You gotta be careful; lotsa people fall asleep at the wheel."
"You also need to look out for other drivers. I saw one guy reading the newspaper while driving!"
"And donít eat while driving. You pause to look down at a plop of ketchup on your pants, and bam! Youíre in an accident."
"You know what you should do? You should get yourself some of those audio books. Thatíll help keep you awake Ė and pass the time."
"I know a guy who got his PhD just listening to books on the way to work."
I freely admit that the last assertion was an especially dubious one. Nevertheless, I canít fault the guys. They meant well Ö I think. And, over the years, I did try the audio books, among other things, to pass the time. Such activities included, but werenít limited to, listening to talk radio, elocution lessons on tape, meal planning, weekend planning, devotions-on-the-go, and writing stand-up comedy (any delusion that the latter was a successful pursuit has been clearly and painfully dispelled).
While all of these were noteworthy activities (except, perhaps, talk radio and the aforementioned spuriousness), I finally did stumble upon the one activity that I consider to be truly worthwhile: Scripture memorization.
Now, usually the mere mention of those two words together would elicit a response of moans and groans from most believers that could easily be heard from behind soundproof walls. For some reason, when these two innocuous words are combined, they produce an instantaneous visceral response that could only be compared to the aversion to studying for a statistics exam.
So I wondered, "Why do I have such an aversion to the memorization of Scripture?"
I thought back to my years growing up. I recall, as a child, being randomly given memory verses to inscribe into my overloaded brain. Here and there, one after another, verses were tossed out like scraps to a puppy Ö quickly devoured and easily forgotten.
After I grew up (some say I never did, but humor me), I continued in the very same unsuccessful method of Scripture memorization. With only a few exceptions Ė usually verses that were especially meaningful to me at certain periods of my life Ė I would forget verses shortly after memorizing them. I was like the proverbial man who looks at his image in the mirror and then immediately forgets what he looks like.
That was until I discovered the key to memorizing Scripture that I wish I would have learned long ago: topics.
A few years back, a friend of mine had given me a Scripture memorization system that utilizes a series of topics and subtopics. It was called the "Topical Memorization System."
I was extremely appreciative for the gesture.
"Gee, thanks," I said as I tossed it onto the shelf and quickly forgot about the gift. Years later, however, as I went through my old books, I found the packet again. Curious, I brushed off the dust and opened it.
At first, I said I would "try it." Day after day, commute after commute, I began to memorize the verses according to the topics, starting with just two verses a week. Soon I had six topics and twelve verses under my belt. Much to my surprise, I was enjoying memorizing the Scriptures!
Subsequently, I finished the memorization system Ė 30 topics with 60 verses total. I have since added verses to topics and topics to my ensemble, amassing an arsenal of just over a few hundred verses Ö and I am adding to it every week. Now I no longer have to ask what I will do on my drive to work. Nor do I dread the long commute. In fact, if you ask me on just the right day, I would say that I actually look forward to it.
Well, letís not get carried away.
John Hunt is a freelance writer who resides in a state of near insanity when he isnít in his home state of Indiana. He has written one novel, a medical-mystery prophetic thriller, which is begging to be - oops, I mean waiting to be published. His website can be viewed at www.imageofthebeast.net
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