When I was writing my dissertation, I was told that the rule of thumb is that you aren’t ready to write until you can explain what you are writing about in under a couple of minutes to someone who has no idea what you are talking about. In other words, you have to know it so well that you can explain it to anybody, even people who don’t care.
The word, splice, can be a verb that communicates the act of joining two things together by tying or weaving them. It can also be a noun that identifies the place where these two things have been joined. In climbing, a splice can be life or death. A strong splice can pave the way to safely move forward. It can also be instrumental in helping others on their journey with you. This step will try to help you weave, meaningfully, the message of these verses into your life and the life of others.
This idea is at the heart of the fifth step. After spending time to dig deeper into these verses, my hope is that they are now ingrained in your life. Maybe you have not “memorized” them, per se, but you are now so acquainted with them that they will come to mind when needed. To some level, they’ve been integrated into your life. In fact, you should have such a handle on the words and their message that you should now be able to explain these verses in a broad sense to those around you.
It is great to memorize Scripture, and that is something we should all strive for, but our goal right now is internalization. We want to the Word of God to become such a part of us that it makes a difference in the rest of our lives and relationships. We want God and His Word to infiltrate every facet and nuance of our lives. That is the goal of the FOCUS Method, to dwell so deeply in God’s Word that it nourishes us for growth in a Christ-ward direction.
Your personal experiences matter. Your story is vitally important in God’s plan of redemption, not just for you, but to those around you. The goal of this last step is not impress anyone with having whole chapters of Scripture memorized. The goal is to follow the Word to an intimate and meaningful experience with its Author. The goal is not to just memorize verses, but to know the One who is breathed this Word into Creation. Then, to take His truth and communicate it to others in your own voice, because your story and your voice matter.
The first and last words of Jesus’ earthly ministry are a call to follow Him in His work of making disciples. That isn’t a suggestion, but a command for each and everyone of His followers to obey. You may think that there are others better suited or more educated, but that is not the point. We don’t need performers. We need those personally experienced with God. Recipients of mercy and grace to encourage those who need them. The challenge of those moving in a Christ-ward direction in spite of the difficulty of the journey to walk with others in the same direction.
Your voice matters. Your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and acquaintances are surrounded everyday by trained, gifted, performers. What is needed is your voice telling your story. The world has enough polish and flash. What your home, your community, your church, and your world needs is to see you walking toward Christ, and to hear the story of where He found you and where He is taking you, one step at a time, in your own voice.
His Words, your voice.