Memorize and Meditate

Sadly, both memorization and meditation have become lost arts in today’s world.

Stephanie Weisman, author of the book, The Secrets of Top Students, and founder of the valedictoriansguide.com, writes about the serious consequences, “Memorization has gotten a bad rap recently. Lots of students, and even some educators, say that being able to reason is more important than knowing facts; and besides, why bother committing things to memory when you’ve got Google?”

Stephanie continues, “My response to this – after I’ve finished inwardly groaning – is that of course reasoning is important, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know facts as well. It’s not like you have to choose between one or the other. Besides, facts give you a foundation on which to reason about things.”

That last statement is so important: “Facts give us a foundation on which to reason about things.”

The author of Psalm 119 would have supported that. Clearly he believed in memorization: “I have hidden your word in my heart.”

And just as importantly, he also knew the value of meditation: “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.”

So what is your memorization plan to “hide” some of God’s word in your own heart? Do you have a list of 5 or 10 key verses that you’d like to always have at your fingertips because you’ve got them memorized?

And what is your meditation plan? Do you have a regularly planned “quiet time” each day when you can simply reflect on God’s words and promises?

The practical advice offered us in Psalm 119 would suggest that it would be extremely wise to weave both memorizing and meditating into the daily fabric of our lives.

Looking for a place to start? Here are a few passages that I really enjoy, and find useful for meditation:

“I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, Lordteach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word” (Psalm 119:10-16, NIV).

Lord, help me to hide your word in my heart, meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I want to seek you with all my heart, as the Psalmist did. I want to remain on the path of your commands. And most of all, Jesus, I want to know your grace and forgiveness, won for me at the cross.

Our Bible reading for Saturday, October 10, is Jeremiah 21:1 – 23:8, 1 Thessalonians 2:17 – 3:13 and Psalm 119:9-16.

Header image based on "Bible and Ballcap (4)" by Eric Golub, CC By 2.0