30 September 2011

The Beauty of the Mind

My mom just posted a lovely article about memory. Especially focusing on things learned in childhood, she talks about how important it is to give children a pure and wonderful mental diet, teaching them to memorize the lessons of the Bible in word and song. The following are some thoughts that are running around in my mind in response to her article.

The things I memorized in childhood still stick with me. My husband and I both recited the fourth commandment the other day, in unison, without missing a word. It's not something I review on a regular basis. I hadn't read the words terribly recently. But unlike my upcoming recital repertoire, which I do review and attempt to engrave more deeply in my mind for hours every day, these words flowed easily off my tongue, instantly available, word for word.

I think there are a couple of reasons for that. One is that, as most of us realize these days, children's minds are especially efficient in memorizing and retaining information, perhaps partly because children love repetition as much as they do.

But perhaps there's another good reason. Bible verses, Sabbath school songs (or any hymns or spiritual songs) are all things that God has a big interest in helping us retain and retrieve when we have need of them. This is one memory tool that is available to every person at every age--even those who feel that their minds are slowing down.

In my own life, I've experienced many times the blessings of memory.

During two or so of my adult years, my Sabbath mornings were spent with the littlest children, playing the piano for their Sabbath school class. I hope they still remember the songs we taught them, and the lessons from the stories my friend told them every week. I do. They have come back to encourage me during quite a few trials, and have inspired hope and faith in my heart.

I've also worked on some memory projects of my own, and I'm well on my way to memorizing an entire book of the Bible (praise God who gives the wisdom for this endeavor!). I cannot even begin to count the times that this memory project has enriched my Bible study, both within the book I've been working with and in other books of the Bible. It has been an amazing journey to see how often the Bible interprets itself, and how often God gives me insights into His Word through my increasing familiarity with it.

I want to say one other thing about singing and memorizing: I know of few things that can bring my heart more courage than singing--OUT LOUD--words of faith in Jesus and praise to God my Creator and Redeemer. Try it out for yourself. It's hard to let Satan get you discouraged when you openly and outwardly give yourself to worship in song.

1 comment:

  1. The things I remember best come from my childhood also. There is no struggle to remember scripture memorized at age 10. Thanks for the reminder to keep my kids memorizing.


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