I’m in the middle of a challenge. Actually, there are several, but the one I am speaking of is called the “Word Project.” That’s what our church has named a 22-week project in which they have challenged the church as a body to memorize Galatians. The end goal is not necessarily to be able to say every word in those 6 chapters in the correct order. Instead, the goal is to get the message in our minds and hearts.
I’ll admit that my first response wasn’t one of delight. I think my face reflected a look of incredulity. I think I actually may have even snickered as I told my small group what to be expecting in the weeks to come.
Then, I heard that a lady, who is now a friend but was merely an acquaintance at the time, had already memorized all of Galatians. She did it a few years back when she and a group of women were studying the book and decided to challenge themselves to memorize it. At that point, the challenge somehow became more do-able and a lot more desirable.
As of this week, we are 10 weeks into this challenge. I fell behind last week, so I’m actually still working on the verses for week 9. Up until then, I didn’t really have to try very hard to get the words to stick. Sure, I invested time listening to the cd that we have that contains all the verses on it. But, I didn’t struggle all that much.
Then, last week’s verses stumped me. Maybe that’s because I had gotten a little too prideful. Maybe I had gotten a little too independent and self-reliant.
Well, no more. I now recognize that there is no way that I can get 148 verses (yep, I counted) in my brain without a little help from Above. This isn’t like high school when I could cram the elemental chart from chemistry in my head in a matter of moments and have it stick for years to come. A lot of other stuff has been added to my head since those days. And, it seems as if my brain hasn’t let go of old phone numbers, people’s birthdays, or the words to songs I no longer listen to. All that stuff had temporal value and yet my brain holds onto it.
Now, I’m having to retrain my brain to let go of the temporal and crave the eternal. It’s not an easy process. But I think the rewards will be much more lasting than knowing the phone number to the Pizza Hut back home.