Yesterday at church, the congregation sang a song I’d never heard before. As I haltingly sang along, most of the time off key, I realized that the words were “keepers” even if I couldn’t sing them well. So, today, I did a Google search for the hymn (Searcher of Hearts, From Mine Erase) and found the lyrics and the music here: http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/s/h/shfmeras.htm
I’ve printed myself a copy of the words so that I can sing along as I listen to the music. Whether or not my singing improves, I’m going to memorize the words, much like I would a poem, and use them as a prayer.
I’ve learned several songs/prayers this way: As I walk (one to three miles daily) round and round inside my house (because it’s too hot and humid for me to do that many miles outside), I hold in my hand the copy of whatever I’m trying to memorize. As I make my laps, I repeat one phrase at a time until I get it right, without looking at the sheet in my hand, and then I learn the next one. Once I feel comfortable with the second one, I say out loud the first one and the second one over and over until I can do both correctly. Then, I follow that pattern with the rest of the phrases until I’ve learned the whole thing.
Each day, I review my recent memorizations. Then, if I have a new one, as I will have today, I begin on it. I’m never concerned with the speed with which I learn a new message. But I do focus on learning to practice, to “live by,” the words I’ve stored in my inner being. Otherwise, the memorization is only an exercise for my brain rather than a “life changer.”
I’ve always had a hard time memorizing “word for word” poems, Bible verses, and so forth. Thus, I’m excited that my new routine is helping me to exercise my mind, as well as my body, while also enabling me to store good thoughts in my mind and heart. It’s a win-win activity! I encourage you, Dear Reader, to try my new habit and see if it works for you.
(c) 2014 by Johnnie Ann Gaskill