There is a tension between plowing forward through the Word as well as going deep. I am very goal oriented, I feel good when I check things off of a ‘things accomplished’ list and I like to take on the most difficult things first (probably why I jumped into memorizing the book of Matthew at the onset of this journey). A year ago when I set out on this journey of memorization, I’ve been following the “Memorize the New Testament in Two Years” program (found on http://www.radicalword.org). I knew I’d probably sturggle a little bit getting it into two years and was shooting for a 2 1/2 to 3 year period. As of today I’ve memorized the equivalent of 11 weeks on that schedule.
What slowed me to a halt was not the discipline of it, though I’m sure that was part of the factor. But it was more that I felt like I was memorizing in such quantity that I wasn’t absorbing it. It became a chore to do and not a communion with the living God. In addition I was using the rote memory of the Word in place of my personal devotion time. So the journey of memorizing came to a halt with intermittent attempts to start back up again.
Recently I’ve started memorizing again with a reduced “drive” to memorize such great quantities at a time. I haven’t set out a clear objective of “how” and “how fast/slow” but I’m rethinking the process. What are my goals? What is the purpose? Also, how do I review that which I’ve already learned?
One thing I’ve realized is that I think we tend to gloss over scriptures that we really don’t understand all that well. We have a general understanding and we could give a superficial explanation to anyone who asked, but I’m not so sure we really go deep to wrestle with the meaning as well as its implications for us personally.
These are things I’m pondering, learning and growing through during this process.