Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Mark 4:23-25 -- On Ears and Memories

"If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath."
Mark 4:23-25

You know, this reminds me of learning to play the guitar.  Mind you, I was never very good, but I took a class in college and I could play all the standard chords and had a couple of my favorite songs memorized and I could sing along.  A few years later when I was in Arizona, a friend borrowed my guitar for a long time, and when I got it back after not playing for a year or so, I picked it up to play the song that I always used to play on it, and I was stunned because I really just couldn't remember not only how the chords went together, but exactly how to do the first chord at all.  Because I hadn't been practicing or even thinking about it for so long, I'd let it slip right through my head and out the other side.

Now, of course, I'm not saying that forgetting is the same as never learning in the first place.  Sitting back down with chord charts and the song could get me back up to speed, and with some effort and prompting, things that we knew before are usually easy to get back, but still... something is missing that should be there.  It's kind of like hitting a brick wall in the middle of the mental freeway, right?  We should be able to get from here to there, but we just can't.

I think that is what these verses are about.  God is asking us to listen, and to learn, and to take the appropriate time and pay adequate attention.  Whatever we give to this effort is what we are going to get back from it, and if we pay attention and learn, and build a foundation so that we can learn more, then we will be given more, and if we don't, then we are going to lose even what we have already.  He wants to teach us all of it... the gospel, how his plan flows through everything in the world.  He wants to answer all of our questions, and help us prepare for eternity, and help us become so much more than what we are.  But it isn't something that we can learn by cramming a review sheet the day before the test, or something we can download into our brains.  It is something that takes time and practice and study and patience.  We have to take the time and put in the effort to learn.  If we do, and if we continue, nothing will be held back from us.  But if we stop, it will all slowly drain out of us while we're distracted by other things and not paying attention, and pretty soon we'll know nothing at all.

Today, let's take the gospel seriously.  God *wants* us to know all of it, but we have to take the time, and commit to the study, not only to learn it, but to remember it and retain it permanently... to change who we are, not just pass a test and go back to old habits.  If we read our scriptures every day, we'll start knowing them better and better, and the same goes for all aspects of the gospel.  The more we practice, the better we will get, and the more we will discover.  Let's have the ears to hear.

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