If you’ve ever wished you could remember a person’s name or the list of things your spouse asked you to pick up, I’ve found a way to make that happen!
In my last
post (you can read it here), I discussed what I learned about memory from a book I read.
It involves using your long-term memory and your short-term memory to produce a mid-term memory you can use for something specific.
I have been using this method to remember my sermons over the past few months, and no longer feel as tied to my notes when I preach.
It’s like the difference between walking a dog with a fixed leash and walking a dog with an expandable leash.
With the fixed leash, the dog gets pulled back hard when he reaches the end. But on the other leash he can keep going a little farther away and the tug back isn’t as harsh.
Here’s how it all works:
You start with your long-term memory of something familiar. For example, I will use my knowledge of the rooms in my house. I know where all the pieces of furniture are; I don’t have to think about them. I can picture the rooms and know what’s in them.
Then I associate the parts of my sermon with the various pieces of furniture in a room. I use multiple rooms for the different points in my message.
For instance, a verse I want to use will be associated with perhaps a chair in my living room. If I’m telling an illustration or story next, I associate it with the next piece of furniture in that room.
I walk my way around the room in my mind, stopping at each piece of furniture for the next bit of my sermon.
The downside is that it takes a while to assign the different parts of my message to the furniture.
I do that by drawing a square on a piece of paper and then boxes for the various pieces of furniture. I then jot a few things down beside each little box and I review that sheet a few times.
The result for me is I am able to walk away from my notes for large portions of time. I know what’s coming next because I have this hook from my long-term memory.
It’s really worked for me. I’m amazed every week that by doing this, I can remember so much of my sermon.
I can’t explain how it works, it just does.
If you have a grocery list and use this method, you could leave the house without the list and remember what you needed to pick up.
In the book, they suggest you make some crazy, outlandish association with the list items and the object you are connecting it to.
But I have found that, for my purposes, it’s not necessary.
Now I just wish I could remember if I wrote about this memory method before.
Here’s the thing: Sometimes when we have sinned, we question whether God will forgive us. Remember that God’s love for you is locked into His long-term memory; you don’t have to think about that or even question it. He also promised that if we confess our sin, He will forgive us. Apply His long-term memory of love of you, with your short-term confession of sin, and it will produce confidence in your forgiveness.
Question: How would an improved memory help you? Leave your comments below.