That’s right, folks! It’s official: my brain is sludge. I thought it would take many more years before it would succumb, but it’s ahead of schedule.
For the Mega Memory Month Challenge, I am attempting to ingest and carve into the deep two portions of Scripture that I’ve worked on periodically over the past few years. I thought this would be an advantage for me: I’ve already worked on these verses, so I just need to make the grooves more pronounced.
I hadn’t anticipated the sludge factor.
It reminds me of those commercials for Castrol GTX in which the sludge-cloud-in-the-sky dumps on unsuspecting auto owners who do not use the correct motor oil.
I do believe I’ve been dumped on. I’m not sure what’s more to blame—HGTV or FoodNetwork . . . or Cash Cab. (Truly, I thought working on crossword puzzles counteracted the impact of mindless TV.)
Before I realized how gunky my brain was, I gave three reasons for memorizing Scripture during this challenge—here’s my report for each:
1) My attitude is much better when I set my mind on the things of God.
hmmm . . . I’m not sure if my attitude is better, but I have recognized how much I need the Lord and I’ve been grasping for Him. So that’s good! (Perhaps my attitude will adjust as we go.)
2) My brain needs the regular mental workout.
The knee-high sludge confirms it. (Get me some waders! This girl’s not giving up.)
3) My spiritual disciplines are not so disciplined.
That’s for certain. (Too bad daydreaming isn’t a discipline. I’m good at that!)
Even with the sludge factor, I am able to work through good chunks of the verses using the first-letter technique—proving that the meat is in there (it’s just covered in muck). Here’s how far I can get for John 15:
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My word abides in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have loved you; abide in My love.”
So I can piece together verses one through nine using the first-letter prompts. My weak points are the transitions. Not sure how to tackle that yet!
And here’s what I can put together from James 1 using the first-letter technique:
“James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are dispersed abroad: Greetings. Consider it all joy, my bretheren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result . . . <complete blank!> . . . lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the waves. For that man ought not to expect that he would receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
That’s verses one through eight—a bit sketchy.
Overall, I’m pleased I can pull these out of the muck and mire of my brain using the first-letter tool. We’ll see what happens over the next week!