Spaced Repetition

Anyone who knew my dad will likely remember his use of the phrase “spaced repetition”.  He was a firm believer that in order to really learn something, understand it and put it into practice we need to hear it over and over again, spaced throughout time.  I have come to realize the wisdom in that phrase.

Lately, as I have spent more time than usual with my youngest grandson, I have listened  to “Wheels on the Bus”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Where is Thumbkin?”  over and over again. Much to my annoyance, I find myself inadvertently singing these songs in my head.  I have even found myself saying out loud the words “digger” when I see an excavator and “school bus” when a bus goes past me.  And sadly, that is when I am by myself in the car. The things I hear again and again quickly surface.

Yet, I have so many things crammed into my brain that it is sometimes hard to remember the names of people I know well.  I can tell myself to remember something, but unless I write it down it may not be thought of again.  And of course then I have to remember where I wrote it. But first, I need to remember again what I am looking for! By then, I may have forgotten why I was looking for it in the first place!  Many things I realize I know, but I need my memory stirred to bring them to the surface again.

God knew we need to be reminded of spiritual truths. He reminds us in several ways:  Through his Spirit;  John 14:26
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Through his Word; Romans 15:15
  I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me
1 Cor. 15:1
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
2 Peter 1:12
So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.

And through other people;  1 Cor. 4:17
For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.

He also asks us to do the remembering and reminding. Where do you focus your thoughts? We focus our thoughts and set our minds on the things most important to us. I’ll never have His Word, His Spirit and the reminders of his way of life I learn from other people if I don’t put myself in front of these things.

Philip. 4:8
  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Col. 3:1-2
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. [2] Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

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