In March 2009, I was a competitor at the United States Memory Championship in New York City. Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed with my performance that day, for allowing my nerves to get the best of me.
However, I was still able to bring home a bronze medal in one event, for memorizing a one-hundred-twenty-seven-digit number in five minutes, and also placed fourth in another event, by memorizing the order of a shuffled deck of playing cards in a little over three minutes.
These result's failed miserably, compared to my practice times of consistently memorizing a one-hundred-eighty-digit number in five minutes and the order of a shuffled deck of playing cards in one minute.
If I could have duplicated my practice times on the day of the Championship, it would have allowed me to bring home the gold medal in both of these events, and would have given me great chance of being crowned the 2009 United States Memory Champion!
However, it just wasn't meant to be on that day. At first, this was a huge source of disappointment for me. But after a few days of putting things back into perspective and allowing the emotional pain to ease a bit, I suddenly realized; I learned a very important lesson while in Manhattan that week. And the lesson I learned was more valuable than any gold metal, or prestigious title ever could be!
God showed me the difference between our mind and our spiritual heart! During my week in New York, He showed me that whatever does not make to our heart, will quickly fade from our mind. But whatever makes it to our heart will stay with us for a lifetime. And will then guide our every move!
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."
Proverbs 4:23 (KJV)
Therefore, once I got back from New York City, I stopped filling my mind with random numbers and the order of shuffled decks of cards, and began filling my heart with the Word of God.
Realizing now, that His Word is "The Truth", the way things really are, and not just how we perceive them to be. And being that I had already been a Christian for many years by receiving Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of twenty, "The Truth" was already in my spirit, and now it was time to fill my heart with it.
And Jesus says we can do this by genuinely believing everything our Heavenly Father says about us. And that is exactly what I did, and still do. So now, "The Truth" guides my entire life, and this has made me free!
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 8:32 (KJV)
One thing is for sure, that long number I memorized the day of the USA Memory Championship's, and the order of that shuffled deck of cards, soon faded from my mind shortly after leaving New York. But the experiences I had, and the people I met, are forever lodged in the file cabinet of my heart!