Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Memorization

I have one of those Sunday School perfect attendance medals the Methodist Church used to give to children back in the 50's and 60's.  I earned them all...18 years of perfect attendance.  Other kids used to salute me walking the halls of Grace Methodist in Hamilton, Ohio.
In many of those Sunday School classes faithful teachers (most of them with gray hair) would have us memorize scripture.  To this day I still memorize scripture and prayers from time to time as part of my ongoing faith development.  I want to have a reserve of God words in my head during those critical times when I need a word from God.

This month I am memorizing Thomas Merton's famous prayer.  I have used it on the phone a few times talking with potential pastors praying about coming to Alaska.  It has been deeply helpful to them.  Here is that prayer.

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. 
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
 But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. 
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. 
Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
• Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”
© Abbey of Gethsemani
Grace Always,
Dave

1 comment:

Pastor Paul said...

That must have taken alot of discipline!! Once you have the Word of God in you richly it will come out of you when you are pressed with the challenges of life. Read this, i'm sure it will bless you: http://bit.ly/1gufVuR