In writing about how to memorize a verse, I described a reinforcement step that includes “reciting what I have learned out loud three times toward each direction of the compass.” For me, this typically involves four walls in my apartment. The purpose of this is to “break the visual association” in the brain that is formed when memorizing and reciting. Even with the same four walls, though, the scene can become familiar.
Enter driving. The scene is constantly changing. Even if the scene seems the same from a travel standpoint (hundreds of miles of prairie, for instance), for memory reinforcement purposes there is a sufficient amount of visual variation to help break any mental dependencies our minds may form with what is seen for reciting what has been learned.
It also adds some new dynamics to driving such as how one measures distance.
- Once one has memorized a chapter of the Bible, one can measure short distances in how many times one can recite the chapter. Do the reinforcement stage in the car.
- As one memorizes more of a long book, distance can be measure by how many chapters of a book one can recite until arrival.
- Memorize multiple books, and different distances can then be measured by different books. My church is a 15-minute drive from my home, so theoretically that would be a distance of Ephesians or Galatians.
For really long road trips, use the time to quote a long book several times. Just as with cooking, this can be a good way to pass the time. If one ever picks up a hitchhiker, handing him your text and having him read along can be a good way to have someone check your accuracy and share the Good News with someone simultaneously. (The rider might tell the driver he should be a preacher, too.)
Given how little of the memorization process involves looking at what one is reading, the memorization stage itself can also happen in a vehicle. A glance at one's text to remember the next part can take less time than one spends to look at a radio display. Of course, if driving, use caution and keep a hand on the wheel and an eye on the road.