I’m in shock. I honestly can’t believe it’s midterm. I mean, we’re already halfway through the semester? Craziness. While I do have several exams spread out over this week and the next, I only have one technical midterm exam. But it doesn’t involve multiple choice or the dreaded short answer. See, this one is for Poetry Workshop (if you missed the post about that class, you can find it here). But rather than writing an extra poem, I have to memorize someone else’s poem.
The good news is, I’ve got all but the second-to-last line memorized (I have no idea why that one little line evades me), so by the time Thursday comes, I’ll be ready to march into my professor’s office and recite my little heart out. It will be beautiful because I’m working on my poet’s voice. Also known as my lose-the-Southern-drawl voice.
We memorize things all the time, don’t we? If you’re in grade school, you’re constantly being expected to memorize vocabulary, grammar rules, processes, and maybe even poetry. If you’re in college, well, you’re doing the same thing, just a little more of it (if you’re one of my high school readers, don’t freak out. College probably won’t kill you). And I’m not exactly out there in the workforce yet, but I’m sure all of you, um, more seasoned people have to recall a ton of stuff, too. My part time secretarial job teaches me that much.
And then I also try to memorize Scripture – verses and passages to recite when I’m feeling overwhelmed or under-prepared or in the middle of something I don’t think I can make it out of. I also try to memorize psalms of praise or verses that express my love for God and His faithfulness in my life.
In my previous post (click here to see it), I mentioned a passage I’ve been wrestling with recently. In case you don’t feel like clicking that link, here’s what it says,
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Like I said in my last post, it’s the “take captive every thought” part that I’ve been focusing on. I’m a daydreamer, and I’m also one of those people who will be caught staring at someone without even realizing it because I’m so focused on something going on in my head. Or I’ll be sitting in class and get an idea for a story, and the next thing I know, I can’t tell you a single word the professor said. So obviously, the idea of taking my thoughts captive seems ridiculously impossible.
I also go to a secular university, and I’m constantly confronted with things that definitely do not match up with Philippians 4:8. You know you wanna go look that verse up now. I’ll wait here…
…So channeling my thoughts to focus on Christ instead of whatever mush I’m constantly being fed at school? That’s impossible. For me, at least. That’s also why I’m learning that, if I want my thoughts to be obedient to Christ, I’ve got to involve Him in the process.
For me, that means I’m talking with Him throughout the day. I’m thankful for His patience, because I’m sure my commentary on life would make anyone else just smile and nod. It also means I’m listening to music that glorifies God, so that the songs that find themselves on a continuous loop in my mind are songs I know would please Him. Finally, like I said earlier, I’m reciting verses I’ve memorized through the years. If I don’t know a specific passage for something I’m facing, I just recite what I do know. I breathe it like a soft prayer.
So those are practical things I ‘m learning to incorporate in my moment-by-moment life. There’s a really great verse I always turn to when I need to switch mental tracks. It’s actually written on my Poetry Workshop notebook, so I see it daily. It says,
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Phil. 4:8
(Yeah, that’s the verse I mentioned a minute ago). So basically, if my thoughts can be described by those adjectives, they are “obedient to Christ.” And if they’re not? That’s where God’s grace comes into play as He gently guides my mind to where it needs to be.
I’ll be honest, this is tough stuff, and I’ll be working on it for the rest of my life, but it’s a way God is using to draw me to Himself by reminding me of how much I really do need Him in order to be who He wants me to be.
In His love,