Thursday, May 13, 2010

memorizing twice

reading the Bible is something that i do every day. most mornings i wake up (not always easily..) spend a few moments checking email, and then i head to the kitchen to heat water for coffee, wash dishes, and grab a simple breakfast. then it's back to my living room with coffee and cereal .. often homemade, with homemade yogurt, and some nice fruit as well. :) i put them on a stool, tuck my legs up in my comfy chair and open the Word. somehow, eating physically reminds me that i am eating spiritually. the Bible isn't just something that's good to know, or something i try to get through .. spending time quietly reading, pondering, listening, reflecting, meditating .. is good and necessary for the soul!

a couple weeks ago, i read Ephesians. it's only six chapters, and sometimes it's good to read whole books at a time .. not just a chapter or two a day. so i was reading the whole book on this particular day, but when i got to the end of the third chapter, i just stopped. and i read it again. and again. and again. and then i worked on memorizing the words. it's a passage that's well known. but, like so many things which are familiar, sometimes we forget what is actually being said. on this particular day, it struck me as astounding.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. -- Ephesians 3.14-21
Amazing!! glorious riches .. Christ may dwell in your hearts .. rooted and established in love .. all the fullness of God .. his power that is at work within us .. what astounding concepts! i shared these verses with a few friends, but then i had the idea that it would be cool to share it at church. except for the fact that it meant memorizing it in another language. but i was up for the challenge. so .. i did. i memorized it (mostly) in Romanian. and English. same concept, but different words, different emphasis. it was a challenge, but a good one. except that now, when i think about this passage, it is hard to think of it solely in one language or the other. if i am reciting it to myself and get stuck, it is often the other language which comes to mind. so i translate it back into which ever language i'm using at the time. but it's a strange place .. having this passage mostly memorized in two language, and succeeding to keep them separate only by deep concentration. maybe that's how the rest of my brain is .. a bit unorganized, in terms of language, so it only makes sense. but still .. a bit odd to begin in one language and end in another.


cainiao813 said...
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Julie said...

I was on my own blog "Jun-ri's Ramblings," and hit "next blog" up at the top a few times to see where it would take me and I came upon your blog. Though I am a Buddhist and read something other than the Bible, our morning breakfast habit is the same. I thought your recounting of your experience with Ephesians (I've had similar feelings), and the scripture your quoted was beautiful! I can't imagine having to memorize in another language! Anyway, just wanted to say how I enjoyed your post. Have a lovely day!

ib said...

It is nice to see someone devoted to reading the Bible as you are. I live in the states. I find it fascinating to here stories from around the world when it involves groups living life together, feeding on The Word and living by it. I must admit, I am somewhere in between. I know Christ's sacrifice, I have felt the Spirit move in me and yet, I find myself falling back into old routines and bad habits. All of which pry me away from God. It is when I find someone like you, one who writes with no agenda. It is simple and beautiful belief. It is beautiful people like you that light a fire in me because of your words. This moved me. I wanted to say thank you. God Bless.

Abigail said...

@julie .. thanks for your comment. truth does indeed nourish our souls.

@ib .. i am often amazed that our simple choices can matter so much. like ripples .. the effects can be bigger than we imagine. thank you for the encouragement. and may i encourage you as well .. to make small choices daily toward God. it does matter!