Somewhere around the hideous age of 13, I was on the 7th grade basketball team. My skills at basketball were almost as proficient as my skills at styling my own hair—which I accomplished with a sweet bang swoop and a lot of hair gel—so you can imagine how often I handled the ball.
But my friends played, and that was enough for me to stick out the bus rides and line drills and the scratchy uniform. (We had about 20 girls on the team that year and 19 pairs of official basketball shorts between us. Guess who got the leftover polyester pair?)
After practice one day, while getting dressed in the locker room, a friend approached me. I remember that I was looking in the mirror when she walked up (likely getting my swoop just right.) She said point blank, “Why don’t you ever cuss?”
Now cussing was a big deal in the 7th grade. The adequate and correct usage of certain four-letter words proved that you had passed from 6th grade babyhood into official junior high awesomeness.
My blatant disregard for the rules of coolness had obviously stood out. She called me to the carpet, 7th grade style.
So here, suddenly and without warning, was that moment I had always waited for. When all my Sunday School training would finally pay off. Here’s where I would finally get to flaunt my spiritual muscles.
I was about to marvel her with such religious brilliance that she would probably fall to her knees right then and there and ask Jesus to cleanse her from all those dirty words and make her a super Christian, just like her friend Hannah.
So, Hannah, why don’t you cuss?
And Super-Christian Hannah’s response was?
(Wait for it…)
“’Cause my parents would kill me.”
I was that cool.
She probably turned in her Cusser Card right then and there. Either that or spread ugly rumors about how I was even dorkier than I let on.
I suspect the latter.
We all go through seasons in our faith (and our lives).
For Josh and I, there were the years before had busy kids when we had gobs of time. We volunteered. We memorized scripture. Some of us even enrolled in seminary (and promptly dropped out.) But we had time for stuff like that. And lots of it.
And there will be the years (I hope) after we have busy kids, when we can sit on our front porches on quiet mornings and ponder God’s Word with coffee in our mugs and no one spills a drop.
But we are in the in between days now, Josh and I. Days when we wake up at a horrific hour because we need the Word in our hearts before the ‘I have to go potty’s, and he’s chewing on my toothbrush and this tag is scratchy’s’ begin.
We need time in the Bible, and we need scripture stored in our hearts.
It is vital.
As a wife and mother, I am practically dangerous without it.
Josh and I were reminded this weekend how important scripture memory is to the Christian. We were also convicted of how much we had slacked off.
I thought of the many minutes (ahem…hours) I have wasted scrolling through social media. And for what?
Those minutes are gone. Forever.
Time in the Bible is never gone. It is never wasted. Yes, it is hard. Yes, it requires discipline. But which will prove more beneficial?
The pictures I saw of your kids at the pumpkin patch? A survey about which Disney character I am? Someone’s rant about their ex?
Or Words I learned that fed my heart peace? Joy? Abundance? Words that gave me hope?
There is no question, friends.
(For the record, I am not Anti-Facebook. Since most of you connected to this blog from Facebook, you should know that. I am, however, officially against wasting my time on this earth and Facebook ranks high on my list of things that tempt me to do just that.)
Junior high Hannah didn’t know why she didn’t cuss. In my family, we just didn’t. I know that my parents could have given good Biblical reasons for it, but I couldn’t.
I didn’t know the Word.
If I had, I could have told my friend that day that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Or that we are to use our mouths to bless and not curse (Romans 12:14) or what God thinks about the man (or woman) who does not control his tongue (James 1:26).
Maybe I could have. But I didn’t.
I missed my chance to share Truth with her.
And I have missed plenty of chances since.
But God is kind, and a God of many, many chances.
It’s time for me to get work, storing up the Good Stuff. ‘Cause we never know when we’re going to need it. (But it’s probably gonna be as soon as the kids wake up.)
So what do you think? Let’s do it, eh? Let’s start small. One verse.
Oh, and don’t let this distract from the much more important stuff above… but my newest book God Bless Our Christmas is almost here! In stores and online next Tuesday, October 7th. And stayed tuned, I’ll be doing a giveaway on the blog STAT!