By Jesse Jost
A red neck hillbilly went to the hardware store frustrated with how dull his handsaw was getting. The store clerk convinced him to try the brand new Husqvarna chain saw, saying it would revolutionize his ability to cut wood. The hillbilly brought it back a few days later and complained, “This thing can’t even cut what my old rusty hand saw could handle.”
The hardware clerk looked over the chain saw, primed it and pulled the starter cord. The engine roared to life. The hillbilly jumped back, startled, and shouted, “What’s that noise!?”
A chainsaw is a powerful tool when you know how to use it. Trying to use it like a handsaw with the engine off and cutting wood will be a terribly painful exercise in futility.
Our brain is a powerful memorizing tool that has incredible potential, but use the memorizing feature incorrectly and memorizing will be more painful than a trip to the dentist.
When the printing press first came out, philosophers worried that our memories would deteriorate now that external memories, books, were more readily available.
Before the printing press, a simple book cost one year’s wages because that is how long it would take for a scribe to write it out by hand. Scrolls were bulky and cumbersome, making it difficult to find certain sections.
With books so scarce and hard to access, people were forced to develop their memories. They knew how to harness the brain’s natural ability to memorize so that they could commit whole books to memory.
Today with smart phones in our pocket and Google, there is practically no need to memorize anything. People no longer even need to remember phone numbers or multiplication tables because it’s quicker to whip out the phone. Because of this, we have almost completely lost the art of how to memorize.
There is much information that is better stored in an accessible external memory, but I believe the case is different with the words of God. It is great that we can load up the YouVersion app and access any passage of scripture with a couple of clicks. But keeping scripture external to our minds and hearts changes our experience of the Word. It keeps it distant and minimizes its transforming effects on our hearts and minds.
Man Shall Not Live on Bread Alone
God designed His words to be digested and mediated on throughout the day. Jesus declared to Satan that God’s word is more important to us than even food itself, that we live by God’s every word. Today with supermarkets and new ways to keep food fresh, all varieties of meats, fruits, and vegetables are more accessible than ever before. But that doesn’t change the fact that you still need to eat and digest the food if you want to benefit from it. You must make the food a literal part of you if you want to grow from it. Continue reading…