Too Busy to Memorize

“The thought of adding one more thing to my schedule sends me over the edge.” I hear you … and I feel the same way. But don’t dismiss memorizing Scripture too quickly.

Because of the value of God’s Word, we don’t want to skip time in it, but a goal of studying the Bible every single day doesn’t work realistically for everyone. Many busy people neglect time in the Word, leaving them unprepared for the battles of the day. Jam-packed lives with activities from dawn to dusk often result in a parched and guilt-ridden soul. For this reason, busy people need Scripture memory more than the average bear.

Memorizing passages serves busy people well, because contrary to what most people assume, it takes very little time because you can do it while you do other things.

So where can Scripture fit in? Let’s take your morning routine. Even overachievers take a shower, dry hair, shave or do make-up, brush teeth, make coffee and/or breakfast, and then drive somewhere to work. That’s probably at least one hour.

Those repetitive tasks that don’t require concentration fit perfectly with memorizing Scripture. Saying a Bible verse out loud, phrase by phrase, breathes life into drab mornings, and invites God into our day. Adding the next verse enriches the experience and broadens the understanding. Meanwhile you’re showered, coiffed and dressed—no extra time required.

When you already have passages memorized, what could you review in that one hour?

• Psalm 1 takes one minute to review.
• Psalm 139 takes 2 minutes.
• Most chapters take 2 – 3 minutes.
• A five chapter book like James or 1 Peter takes 15 minutes.

I can hear the pushback now. “But I listen to the news when I’m getting ready.” Without apology I say, “Make the great exchange. Trade the bad news for the good, trade man’s words for God’s.”

As the day flies by, capture dead time to fill your heart and mind afresh. Redeem wasted moments waiting at the red light, the printer, the drive-thru, the carpool line, the dentist office. Thirty seconds of Scripture here and there throughout your day turns idle minutes into a conversation with God. No one should be too busy for that.

6 comments to Too Busy to Memorize

  • Tony Pintcke

    Not too BUSY, all too often, too LAZY to memorize. In other words, I all too often fall into the category of “Not now God, I’m busy. I will get right back to you in a minute, I have this or that to deal with right now.” Unfortunately, (I hear a Garth Brooks song coming “If Tomorrow Never Comes”) that “right back to you in a minute” all too often never arrives, and God is on the back-burner over-cooking, and left forgotten about.

  • Richie Malone

    You are right, busy people do need scripture memory desperately! Today was crazy for me. Before I knew it the afternoon was upon me and I realized I had given no attention to God’s word. I instantly felt a shallowness. So I whipped out my spiral, recited some verses and reordered my head. Much better!

    • Today I was stuck in traffic on 635. No one was moving and I’m sure everyone was frustrated. I went over my new verses about ten times and it was a great way to redeem the time. I had time to meditate on what I was saying and I didn’t worry about how long it was taking. I actually love these intrusions in my day!

  • Melissa neufeld

    I agree with Janet. This is how I used to do it. Memorize while doing other things. Then, I got chronic fatigue syndrome and it became very difficult for me to memorize. And for a few years I could not figure out how to do it. Then I read Janet’s book and there were some practical suggestions on how to continue on. But, I still can’t do it very often while I do other things. And also, most days, it takes me longer to recite then it would if I was well. My mind just will not work to go fast. But, even though it sometimes takes me an hour to do what used to take 10 minutes Memorizing is so important to me that it is placed is one of my highest priorities. I never want to be without God’s word

  • Susan Turner

    I am grateful for waiting rooms, long lines and heavy traffic. I have a different perspective on my time and the time that I once thought was wasted. Those are the most precious moments in my day.