by Bruce Gold – Custodian/Valpo FUMC
When I first became a Christian, I found that I had many roadblocks to spiritual progress. First of all, I had a terrible memory. When my wife would ask me over Sunday lunch about my reaction to the morning’s sermon, I had to ask her to give me a few hints. When it came to meditation, I generally fell asleep. I have never been competent in the art of praying. Even now, my attention wanders when my wife takes more than 30 seconds to say grace before a meal. The Bible says to pray continuously, but I could not even figure out a way to pray occasionally. I was the man with a grasshopper mind…continually distracted.
I found two remedies to my shortcomings. First, I started to memorize my favorite Bible passages. The process of memorization allowed me to concentrate on important parts of the Bible, line by line and even word by word. Once I had a passage memorized, I needed to run it over and over in my head to keep from forgetting parts of it. This was a great way to develop self-discipline and mental control. It also helped me to discover details in the passage I would normally overlook. The second remedy was to take my memorized passage and turn it into a song.
By putting Bible verses to music, I was able to put passages into my own words and personalize my response to the message I was given. I called that ‘working out my salvation through music and lyrics’. Also, I had an easier way to remember what I learned. It was easier to keep a tune in my head than a long line of Scripture. Once the song was cemented into my brain, I could repeat it as many times as I wanted. I was continually meditating on God’s Word. Soon, my main method of Bible study was song writing. It has been my spiritual practice of choice for about a decade now. I recommend it.