Most people would probably say they’d like to have a better memory.
And in speaking with people in the second half of their lives, most feel having the ability to increase their recall of information would liberate them.
In the spring I read a book on improving your memory. When I sat down to write this piece, I thought I might have written a blog post on my first gleanings of the book, but I can’t remember for sure … ha ha.
How’s that for a memory?
But I have applied some of the principles in the book to my preaching and I’m surprised at how well it works … though I can’t say I know how it works.
Everybody has their way of preparing a talk. I happen to manuscript what I’m going to say, and then go over it several times so it doesn’t come across like I’m reading it.
I usually speak for just over thirty minutes, so that’s a lot of words on a page … it would be difficult to memorize them all. But for a few months now I’ve been using a technique to put a lot more info from my sermons into my brain.
In the book it was explained that we have long-term memory, short-term memory and mid-term memory. They are all used for different purposes.
Long-term memory involves things that are locked in your head, which you don’t even have to think about; you just know them. They’re things like your phone number, your address, your way to work, where things are in your house, etc.
In your short-term memory are thing that are current. For instance, when you read something, you can spit out some facts from what you read for the next few hours or even days. But good luck trying to recall that data a week or two from now. It was just short-term.
Often the names of people we just met go into short-term memory.
For example, you remember a guy’s name for a little while, but later that day when you’re telling someone about the person you met, you can’t remember his name any more.
It’s no big deal. You can just ask him his name the next time you see him … if you’re not too embarrassed that your short-term memory is so bad!
Then there is the mid-term memory – being able to remember something in that gap between long-term and short-term memory.
Sometimes we need to remember something for a few days or for a certain event, or until we write our exam. Then we can forget it.
That’s what the mid-term memory is for.
… This is going to be a two part post so I will keep you in suspense until the next one (read part 2 here).
But the key to remembering something for a specific time and place is combining your long-term and short-term memories together.
It’s like combining the colours blue and yellow; they produce green.
You combine long-term memory and short-term memory and what you get is mid-term memory that you can use for a particular purpose.
Here’s the thing: God’s memory is pretty complicated as well. On the one hand, He loves you with an everlasting love – that’s long-term; he’s not going to forget that He loves you. On the other hand, when you repent of your sins, He forgets about them like they never happened – that’s great news for us.
Question: What could you use a better memory for? Leave your comments below.