Inspiration drives many of us to memorize Scripture, but equally important, the practical aspects need to be in place, so that we keep at it for the long haul.

With jam-packed lives, running from one event to the next, how do we keep room in our schedules for memorizing and reviewing? I saw an illustration this morning.

I live in a neighborhood filled with townhouses, apartments, and patio homes with no backyards. Because of this, hundreds of dog-owners show up at the neighborhood park to walk their dogs at various times of the day.

These dog-walkers multi-task. While exercising their dog, they exercise themselves, drink coffee, talk on the phone, walk with a friend, push the baby stroller, jog, listen to Ted-talks on I-pods, train for marathons, and who knows what else. Their valuable and limited time gets maximized by combining two or more things.

Thankful not to be a dog-owner (that’s another blog), I too multi-task while on my early morning walk. Over a 2-mile stretch, I memorize Scripture, meditate on that Scripture, and pray through my day. Forty minutes of exercise for the body and the soul accomplished at the same time. I would consider it wasted time if I had to do each separately.

When I speak to groups about Scripture memory, I tell them, “Your greatest probability of success in Scripture memory will be if you can learn to incorporate Scripture memory into things you’re already doing: getting ready in the morning, exercising, household chores, cooking dinner, driving, waiting…” “And your greatest probability of failure will be if you try to add Scripture memory to an already packed schedule.” “For most of us, there are no more time slots in our day.”

Many repetitive tasks don’t require thinking so you can memorize at the same time. And when you become accustomed to the same connected tasks it becomes a habit to do the two together. For example, I can’t take a shower without reviewing Scripture. As soon as I turn the water on, my brain asks, “which Scripture?”

My heart sinks when people tell me, “I used to memorize Scripture but then I got too busy.” Or, “I memorized James but I didn’t review.” I want to say, “Did you stop showering? Did you stop exercising? Did you stop driving?” “Did you quit breakfast?” They didn’t combine their Scripture memory with permanent tasks which would have helped their new habit to remain permanent as well.

Saying one verse takes about ten seconds of time—ten seconds! Saying an entire chapter takes 2-3 minutes, not 2-3 hours. Reviewing an entire book might take 15-20 minutes. That’s less time than one round trip to Home Depot.

We HAVE time to memorize God’s Word—we just need to utilize that time more efficiently.

I would love to hear your advice, tips, suggestions and encouragements for busy people who also want to memorize God’s Word.

8 comments to Multi-tasking

  • Penny

    Janet, you’ve been helpful and extremely encouraging in this article as you remind us of practical and “do-able” ways to stay in God’s Word and strive to memorize. Bless you….always inspired by your messages!

    • Thank you Penny. We need to help each other because life is so jam-packed we can easily squeeze out the most important thing—God’s Word.

  • Lise Anderson

    How I spend every minute of each day is a choice and I pray for increased desire to include memorizing Scripture as an important choice as I go through my day. I have been asking the Holy Spirit to remind me in moments through out my day that would be best but admit sometimes I just don’t follow through. Thanks for encouraging us!

    • Hi Lise, I’ve been memorizing for 29 years and I still feel like I waste a lot of time. The world is always screaming for my attention and my self-absorbed mind wants to think about ME. It is a relief to know that there is an alternative to both of those.

  • Beverly Schlomann

    I try to review at least a psalm or two as I am going to sleep. If nothing else, it calms my mind so I can fall asleep. While doing dishes (or loading/unloading the dishwasher) is my favorite “multi-task” time. I love your encouragement to connect scripture memory and review to something that is a “permanent” part of my day. It’s really true!

    • Hi Bev, you gave us your routine for keeping Scripture memory as part of your daily life. That is the idea I’m stressing here. Each person has their own routines, and if you can incorporated Scripture with it, you won’t drop it. It is truly a spiritual battle so we need to find ways to stay in the fight. Thanks for jumping in with your comment.

      • My daughter told me about a book THE POWER OF HABIT:Why We Do What We Do In Life & Business. It’s a secular book but the point is that choosing the right habits sets you up for success in whatever you’re pursuing.

  • Audrey

    Thank you for the encouragement and the reminder of this! You are a blessing in my life.