Repetition

What is a movie you can quote every line of? A movie where the music, one-liners, dramatic moments, jokes, and scenes are embedded in your memory. I’m an entertainment buff, so I LOVE hearing people’s responses to this question! Although I have several movie scripts filed away in my brain, one of my favorites to quote is Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 miniseries by BBC—an important distinction for my fellow Jane Austen lovers). Why do we know these movies so well?

It’s not because you heard it quoted so often by others.

It’s not because you’ve visited film locations.

It’s not because you watched the actors’ interviews.

It’s not because you watched the director’s cut commentary.

It’s because you watched the movie over and over again.

We practice this so often in our culture today. The consumption of entertainment is as repetitious as it is record-breaking. Have you ever binged a TV series? Did you binge it again before a new season came out so you didn’t forget major plot lines from season one?? Did you binge it twice in one weekend to look for details or “easter eggs” that you missed the first time around? Did you watch a portion of your favorite movie for the 50th time just because it was on a channel you flipped through? There are endless options in the technology age to fill the blank spaces (sometimes even seconds) of our time, and I’ve done my fair share.

In 2012 I became a new mom, which comes with all kinds of adjustments to your normal routine. Although many of you are thinking about the crying, sleep-deprived moments of motherhood (and there’s plenty to be had), I was struck by the prolonged sequences of pure silence. Newborns sleep a lot . They also nurse a lot, which added up to hours and hours of sitting quietly in my home. Not what I expected. However, this was 2012, and social media was already ingrained in my subconscious and muscle memory. I had countless options for time fillers on my phone. I could check emails, do new parenting research, scroll Pinterest, scroll Facebook, watch videos, and then have time to spare for Google rabbit holes that came up during my perusing.

After exhausting these possibilities for the first two weeks, I heard the Lord clearly saying, “This could be your most productive time or your biggest colossal waste of time.” He said exactly what I needed to hear to save me from hours of idleness. I also heard him prompting me, “Read the Bible to your son.” So, I switched out my phone for the Word of God during those

early morning,

mid-morning,

lunchtime,

afternoon,

evening,

and late-night nursing sessions.

I decided to read from Genesis to Revelation straight through and picked out a reading schedule. Although I had read the Bible in its entirety previously, I had never read it aloud in its entirety. Six months later, as I flipped to the last book of the Bible, the Lord had the perfect encouragement waiting there for me:

“Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it…” - Revelation 1:3

Over the next 3 years, I would have two more children and read through the Bible with them as well. I treasured those quiet (and not-so-quiet) moments with them, and was floored at the new things I discovered each time I read it to them. During my own personal Bible study time, I began recalling details and revelations from previous read-throughs. I could pinpoint what events came before the spot I was reading, and what would follow. The sequence of the historical narrative was solidifying. The stories were becoming more and more familiar. Prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament became more vivid and recognizable (Luke 24:27). Connections between the Old and New Testament were being unveiled. It was thrilling and still continues to thrill me to this day.

In this day and age, we have a knack for habitual consumption of information. Use it. When our minds get filled with the Truth, it will set us free (John 8:32). The Word of God was intended to be read repetitiously (Joshua 1:8, Deuteronomy 17:19, Psalm 119). It is also intended to be understood, taught, and passed on. The more we read it cover to cover, the more we become familiar with it. The more we become familiar with it, the more we get reminded of it (John 14:26). The more we are reminded, the more it permeates our hearts and minds (Romans 12:2). The more it fills our minds, the more it overflows into everything we do (Luke 6:45, Proverbs 4:23).

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” - Colossians 3:17