Friday, November 02, 2007

Memorizing Scripture...

A young man just emailed me to ask how I memorize passages, and if there are any "tricks" that can be helpful. Unfortunately, I do not know of any "tricks" that make memorization easier. I've tried several things over the years, but the only principle that seems to actually work is: "Consistent effort applied over time yields significant results." What that means, practically, is - it just takes time and energy to memorize. It's like a muscle, so, to a certain extent, it gets a little easier as you do it, but it's never easy.

What I generally do is read over a section I want to memorize several times, and then record it on a micro-cassette recorder. I then listen to it over and over for a while to get a feel for the passage. During that time, I'll see things that I want to change, so I rerecord the passage to reflect the new changes. Then, after some time, I'll start actually memorizing the passage. By then, I'm familiar with the overall flow, and the memorization comes more quickly. When I basically have it in my brain, I practice it out loud as a performance piece, including the actions I will pantomime and how I will utilize my scarf (which is my basic prop.)

It is helpful if you can speak the words out loud as you are memorizing. It is also very important to focus on understanding the meaning of a passage, and visualizing the action that is taking place. The key is not to simply memorize the words, but to understand what the passage is trying to convey.

Everyone can memorize -it just takes time and effort. For me, it's important enough to spend the time and expend the effort. Again, the real key is: "Consistent effort applied over time yields significant results."

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