Sure - I've memorized the scriptures before, but never like this. Never with this enthusiasm. Never with this intensity. I love it! Just love it...
For those who do not know... a number of weeks ago some friends and I embarked together on a mission to memorize the book of Acts. It is definitely quite the task with lots of verses to memorize and re-memorize and review.... But we are inspired! And the good news is that the flame of enthusiasm is still burning bright. You can find out more about that here or here... but for now let me share with you some lessons I have learned regarding successful scripture memory.
I'm sure you've probably heard the main deal of memorization and review... but here are just a few lessons I have learned over time that have come in handy. Lessons which have actually found their origin in as varied places as my violin lessons to books I read... Here they are, general lessons, broad lessons, but nonetheless extremely practical.
- Keep moving. It seems to be human nature to simply fall into doing what we know and what is already easy, but to progress means learning something new which means time, energy, and effort. I've often memorized a chapter in the past and found that I knew the first 5-10 verses very well but when it came to the last half... well, they never got the same review. Why? Maybe it was because each time my memorization time came around instead of moving on, I used my time to review those first verses again - "just to make sure I had them down." Reality check. Chances are pretty high that those first verses can wait a day or two... or more... without you forgetting them. Try it - you might be surprised. Besides, why would I want to waste my time on unnecessary review when I could be memorizing something new? Of course there is a balance here as always. I would still review a verse about every day for a week before spacing the reviews out. That's just a general rule... you might find you need to keep up daily reviews longer - as of right now I'm doing it a bit shorter. But above all remember that whatever you do - keep moving on. See if you can memorize something new every single day.
- It's ok to make mistakes. This lesson has taught me much. Actually it has totally revolutionized the way I memorize. Let me explain. I work on a memorize/re-memorize system that goes like this: (Please note that I am currently using the Scripture Typer app for Apple OS devices which makes what I am doing quite a deal easier.)
Review 1 - I memorize the verse until I can do it perfectly and then move on (remember lesson 1?)
Review 2 - I re-memorize the verse. The reality is by the time the next day comes around I don't really remember the verse but with a little review it comes much faster
Review 3 - This time I'm starting to remember the verse pretty well but it is still in the re-memorization stage.
This continues on... until I have the verse memorized and from then on I am no longer re-memorizing the verses but simply reviewing them. At any given time I will have a couple chapters back in my review system that are actually in the re-memorization stage - plus the new one I'm working on.
There's a plus to this way of memorizing that comes in handy as well. Our minds tend to remember things better if we have to spend some time trying to remember something before finding out the answer. So - try to remember the verses you just memorized... (you probably won't be able to completely)... let them bug you a little. ;) When you go to review and find out the words or phrases you were missing it just might be they stick better than if you hadn't thought of it at all.
It is a bit like a kid learning to play basketball. He might try 50 times and only shoot one hoop, but every day as he continues to work on it his accuracy will begin to increase. (Just usually with scripture memory your accuracy can increase a bit faster than shooting basketball hoops... ;) And a simple helpful note to sum this lesson up - remember when you are re-memorizing your verses that it is ok to totally fail... Don't be hard on yourself, after-all your just re-memorizing the verse - that means you don't really know it yet. It's ok. :)
- Stay joyful. Negative thoughts are destructive. Fear is our worst enemy. Choose to embrace the joy and challenge of memorizing with enthusiasm. In this line there is no failure (anyone can memorize something). So, you only memorized two verses you say? Wonderful! You are a success! Stay joyful and memorizing the next two will be that much more easy.
- Review. Review. Review! This is a standard one, but along this line spend time reading the chapter over and over and over again - and listen to an audio version of it while your reading, during the day or both. I think enough said. :)
Oh yes... and do share your thoughts, lessons, or successful tips in the comments! :)