|“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; |
guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God
my Savior and my hope is in you all day long.”
Having spent fifty-plus years of my life in a school setting, I tend to think like both a teacher and a learner. My natural bent toward learning forces me to think in a sequential way about understanding, processing, and retaining knowledge. And, on top of that, my experience as a musician reinforces the notion that learning is longitudinal—over a period of years.
No one has ever received maximum benefit from learning an instrument if they take a lesson every six months and rarely practice. Or, who takes lessons from one teacher for a brief time and then jumps to another teacher. The budding music student must carefully follow the long, slow process in order for learning to progress from foundational to detailed and to become specifically more complicated as time goes by.
How should we study the Scriptures? In the very same way—in a long, slow, sequential manner over many years. The Psalmist in Psalm 1:2 says that the blessed man…
…delights in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Creative teaching with enjoyable methodology produces eager learners who don’t mind the perseverance they need to complete the process.
I note that during Colonial times in America, when, out of necessity, women taught their daughters to sew, the women would have their daughters practice by doing counted cross-stitch patterns with thread and cloth. These patterns taught not only useful stitching, but also taught letters, numbers, and Scripture verses. Such a lengthy project would allow these young girls to concentrate on God’s Word.
I’m not proposing that we all learn to cross-stitch in order to learn God’s Word. But, I am suggesting that each of us find a pleasant way that we have discovered helps us learn the best and use that method to “meditate day and night” on God’s Word.
Most people learn best on one of three ways: visually, aurally, or physically. Something learned in the style best suited to the individual will help him or her retain what he or she intends to learn.
Some learn best by journaling, or in some other way that uses their hands to learn. Others like to listen to God’s Word as they work or exercise. Others learn best reading aloud or quoting scripture as they drive. I’ve known still others who like to paraphrase portions of the Bible to hide the Word deep inside themselves.
Philippians 1:6 tells us that:
He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
God, our ever present heavenly Tutor, wants to partner with us as we learn His Word and put it into practice. Stitch by stitch, day by day, He opens His truths to us. Just as children enjoy the process, may we each make time to find the exquisite delights of learning God’s Word all the days of our lives.