Words of Hope: Discipline

I am thankful that my dad instilled in me the discipline of scripture memory. I have been memorizing in earnest since 2005 and have had about 450-550 working verses. This means that I can quote them without aid. In the years of Covid and Dad’s death, this has been more challenging. I usually work on memory in the car or walking or anytime I have a spare moment that I am not reading. Instead, I have been on social media or frittering my time with a variety of senseless activities. My mind feels foggy since my dad died. I have been waiting for it to clear but have decided the discipline is more necessary than the perfection. Instead of making scripture memory a goal, game, or a sport, I need to use it as a lifeline, a healing discipline to assuage my troubled thinking. I have spots in my house that are reminders of the scripture. My bed is Philippians 2:1-11. My front door is Numbers 6:24-26. My table is Deuteronomy 4:7-9. My front window is Psalm 103, and my treadmill is Hebrews 12:11.   

I have my dad’s memory book from NBC Camps in my office. I cannot open it without crying. There are dates next to the passages of scripture we all memorized as a staff. I think part of my struggle with scripture memory is its connection with my dad. This interweaving of memory and grief. It’s time to get back to this practice whether I feel like it or not. 

I consider the discipline needed for this return: 

· Intention—making this an intentional decision in my day 

· Attention—preparing to be focused and all in 

· Repetition—the foundation of all real learning 

· Guidance—the pathway to growth 

Dad would recommend I start with a short plan every day. Quit one thing to start another. Part of the challenge is that my scripture tool is on my phone and my main distraction is my phone. This requires the discipline of a paper copy with my phone away from me. Each day is a choice.  

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11