Regular readers of this blog know I am a collector of quotes, word pictures, and thoughts. Whether they uplift, challenge, or simply provide a unique way of looking at things, I enjoy identifying - and capturing - turns of phrase and filing them away for the moment when they will provide the perfect comfort or inspiration.
Earlier this year, my church engaged in a corporate scripture memory exercise in which we memorized a different passage from the book of Psalms each week. The task resonated immediately: how much better it would be to carry these thoughts in my mind and heart than to sift through my catalogue of options every time I found myself in need of encouragement.
I started eagerly, copying first one, then another passage down and repeating it to myself as I walked from one appointment to the next. But when the series concluded, I abandoned the effort, and within a few weeks, most of what I learned had faded away. It occurred to me that, like so many things, when we lose motivation and focus, the fruits of our labor disappear along with them. When I stopped playing the piano, I lost the ability to sit down and pick out a tune. When I stopped doing speed drills, my running pace slowed. This was no different.
I recognized that if I wanted to regain my lost knowledge, I would need to exercise the same discipline with which I acquired it in the first place. So I grabbed a stack of note cards, channeled my inner student, and created flashcards. This simple tool helps refresh my memory and keeps the words in the forefront of my mind.
You may not be struggling with memorization today, but the principle applies to anything you worked to attain, only to let it fade away. What simple tool can help you regain what you have lost?