Tuesday, April 4, 2017
In my own handwriting
Too many times I have stood --cart in hand -- at the entrance of the grocery, saying out loud, "And what was it I needed to get here?"
I have tried little mental tricks to remember those necessary things like counting the number of items, alphabetizing the list, fooling myself that, of course, I will remember THAT when I get to the store. I can remember most things, but I nearly always forget something.
My sure-fire method now is to keep a running list on my cell phone. I may forget a paper list on the counter at home, but I almost always have my phone which I can access, and even add to the list as I go about my day.
And often, just the act of writing it down engraves those things in my mind.
In a recent Bible study, my teacher and dear friend introduced me to the ancient practices of the Old Testament scribes, the early Christian church, and now in countries where it is often illegal to even own a copy of the Bible. These people for thousands of years hand-copied Scripture, word for word, word by word. They had their own copy of the Scriptures because they wrote it out by hand -- God's Word in their own handwriting.
And like the grocery list, what we write down, we are more apt to remember.
Despite crazy seasons of life or demanding schedules, this is something every one of us can do. Pick a book of the Bible. In the case of my study group, we are focusing on Philippians. Take a spiral notebook, a journal, a piece of notebook paper, and each day, copy out a few verses from God's Word. Copy the entire book, verse by verse, a few at a time, day by day, word by word, not just sorting through for the big stuff.
When I read Scripture and write it out, a verse, a particular word, a passage, a little piece of a verse gets stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Think about those things, linger with them, take them with you. Let your soul marinate in God's Word, deeply emerged in an entire book of the Bible, written out word by word, not just a few familiar verses.
And then, pick another book.
Personal guarantee: These words will not just be written on paper, but the passages will resound in your thoughts in whatever you are doing. These same words will slow-cook in your mind and heart. And you will be changed by God through them.
I don't know if it is the physical action or mental engagement, but writing something down keeps me from forgetting it and engraves it in my life.
Scripture hangs out in your thoughts and does a number on your heart, comforting, directing, and changing the trajectory of your life. It is not just about information, but all about transformation. The Bible is not a collection of platitudes made up by man, but the very Word of God.
And there is nothing more powerful than that.
Your Word is a lamp to my feet,
and a light to my path.
Psalm 119. 105
Write it down.
Take God's Word with you.
It will change your life.