I read a considerable amount. Most of it is related to my doctoral work. Obviously, those wishing to become PhD’s will read and read and read. Often there’s so much to read I just lose track of what I’m reading.
I must also state that my primary method of learning is not verbal. I don’t learn a lot when I listen to a lecture. Even though my Senior Pastor and employer, Robert Morris, has some of the most amazing messages I’ve ever heard, I have to go back and listen to them two or three times before the meat will really sink in. Reading is also a verbal skill, and quite frankly, I can’t remember 99% of what I read. So the fact that I know anything shows that I’ve read a forest of pages or it firmly establishes that wisdom comes from God. Actually, both are true and I am a simultaneous example of each.
I was encouraged by reading John Piper the other day when he stated that he, too, can remember only 99% of what he reads. The one percent he does remember he refers to as “an immeasurable moment” These one percent chunks make up the mountains of knowledge he bears every day. They also serve to minster and encourage the hundreds of thousands of people that John encounters every year.
This reminded me how important 1% can be. A bottle of crystal clear Aviom filled with one percent sewer water gives you a full bottle of sewer water. One percent of a salad sprinkled with rat hair gives you a bowl full of trash. The one percent makes a difference on the whole thing.
So if the one percent can impact so negatively, surely the inverse is true. I may forget 99% of what I read, but the one percent can transform my life, and thus equip me to transform others. This has ignited within me a passion to record my 1%. When I read, I keep a Word document open nearby so that I can jot down what I’ve read, how it has impacted me, and where I read it. Recording my 1% is critical for my memory. It serves as a reliable source to recall ideas that have revolutionized my thoughts.