Friday, June 5, 2015 0 comments

A Summer to Remember

Rich smoke wafting through heavy air.
Little faces dripping with watermelon smiles.
Lightning bugs.
Long, clear twilights that flow into moonglow.
Early morning light.
Happy, full birdsongs that pierce through windy trees.
Soil, rich with promise, tilled and black.
Sweaty bodies, kissed with summer browns and pinks.
Green plants, new, but still familiar.
Freshness, hope.

Each line conjures up a scene, a memory, and urges for the same to come again.

I wish that I was seven again, and could run, following the hose from the dank, cool pump house on the acreage, to find where Mom was, watering the garden a while; or slip on some dirty sneakers to go adventuring in the barns (I still use a favorite paring knife discovered in one of those scroungings); or perhaps spend a whole day biking beside my siblings in meaningless circles, transformed into meaningful treks by the glories of imagination.

Oh, Summer, I remember how we used to be.

The years have changed the seasons, so summer comes differently now. Responsibilities still linger, and more planning often comes with summer events when making mud pies is no longer the pinnacle of a perfect day.

But I want to make this a summer to remember.

I recently read a blog post, dictated by a young woman named Melinda, a friend of a friend who is losing her physical senses - touch, hearing, and most recently, sight - due to a disease called NF2. She's a Believer, but she's struggling right now, with changes in care, and sudden downhill turns in health. And with losing both her hearing and her sight, that tragically limits so many things for her that she use to be able to do (I really can't imagine the darkness that would be). I'd encourage you to read the whole post here, but at least take a moment to ponder this paragraph (I've edited it down slightly for the sake of this post):

"And I know I’m going through some spiritual things, even though I have been trying to remember Bible verses and sing different songs in my head. I just … I’m really struggling with that aspect of knowing that sometime I’m going to have to stop reading my Bible, and realizing that I should have hidden more of God’s Word in my heart. And I don’t think … I don’t think I’m ready, ready for this."

I understand that I just took a nostalgic post about summer and suddenly took a seemingly unrelated u-turn. However, it's all coming to the same point: I want to make this a summer to remember.

I want to take this opporunity, imperfect though it may be, to make memories beyond long days and moonglow, and intentionally memorize God's Word - because sometimes we wait so long for the perfect moment, we look back to see it's already passed.

This isn't to say I haven't ever memorized scripture before, but, like many of you I'm guessing, most of that memory was done during school years, when it was built into the schedule in one way or another. In recent years I've occasionally memorized more, but since reading Malinda's story, it's given me new inspiration and impetus. The phrase, "Those who don't read have no advantage over those who can't," has taken on new meaning. And though I'm not faced with the same struggles of the disease Malinda's battling, I'm still faced with circumstances that would be helped by a mind ready with Truth.

Things like

... renewing my mind on a moment-by-moment basis.

... giving sound counsel and advice.

... sharing with clarity the power of the Gospel.

I could go on listing more, and you could probably add to this list as well. But time spent memorizing scripture will never be time wasted.

A summer spent intentionally filling the crevasses of my mind with scripture is the kind of summer I hope to remember for a lifetime.

I've set some personal goals of how much I hope to memorize over the summer, and would invite you to join me, too, and take on as much as you think you can handle - even if it's just a verse for the month, that's something! I'll be sharing the specifics of how much and what I hope to commit to memory over this summer, as well as some more thoughts and tips that I've found helpful in effective memorization.

But in the meantime, and regardless of whether you decide to join in on this Summer to Remember, please be in prayer for Malinda and her family as they go through these hard days of decline in Malinda's health. And pray for Malinda, that the Words of God (that we can so easily hear and see) would permeate her mind in the darkness of her body, and shine Truth in these difficult days.