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A recent visit to Texas took me near the neighborhood where I spent a couple of childhood years. I couldn't resist stopping by a house where my parents, now deceased, lived when they were younger than I am now.
Driving by, I saw that the huge trees I climbed as a boy were absent and only the front door seemed familiar. I stopped and scanned the radio for music from that era - the late '60s - and landed on a tune by Grand Funk Railroad.
Every word flooded back to my brain. Then I sang along with the next song. And the next.
I easily recalled the lyrics to 10 songs in a row that I had absorbed more than 40 years ago. It was like a computer hard drive opening a long-dormant folder.
I began to ponder how the philosophies of '60s rock bands had affected my life because I memorized them. I thought about what would have been, and could be, the fruit of recalling a similar amount of God's Word.
Author Joyce Huggett writes on the benefit of studying Scripture: "We meditate to give God's words the opportunity to penetrate, not just our minds, but our emotions - the places where we hurt, and our will - the place where we make choices and decisions. We meditate to encounter the Living Word, Jesus Himself."
That day revealed how my will and emotions are shaped from immersion in the culture of my youth. For example, how much of what I believe and feel about love is shaped by God's truth?
Does 1 Corinthians 13 overwhelm my thought life? Unfortunately, I'm more apt to belt out the words by Tina Turner: "What's love but a second-hand emotion?"
Only when I meditate on God's truth, taking every thought captive to be obedient to Him, will His definition of love become a natural part of my will, renewing my mind, and controlling my emotions.
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