Orville did not qualify for the national competition. :(
Now, for the good news.
He won 2nd place at the local competition where he took the preliminary tests! He was awarded a check for $50 which was made out to him personally and sealed in a silver envelope along with a 2nd place certificate. It was such a generous prize with such nice personal touches, and he felt so special receiving it. I want to send a thank you to Stacey and everyone who helped her make our local Bee possible and so very enjoyable.
The grand prize, however, was won by all who participated. It was the time spent delving into the Word of God while meditating on and memorizing so many Bible passages. By the time of the competition, Orville had memorized 100... a feat I did not think was possible.
Actually, he did not think it possible either. When the study materials first arrived, we both felt overwhelmed. He did not really get motivated until two weeks before the competition date. Then, things just started to click. Not only could he recite the verses when called upon by his dad or me, but he started bringing Scripture up in daily conversation.
While reading a story one day, he said, "This situation makes me think of 1 Cor 10:13" Then, he went on to explain why.
When contemplating a decision another day, he recalled a verse he had learned from Proverbs and decided he needed to complete the task at hand.
He even wanted copies of audio recordings of sermons on the passages he had memorized.
When we began studying, my prayer was that he would be motivated to hide God's Word in his heart so that he might not sin against God, thinking more of later than now. I thought of him preparing for his future calling so that he would be fully equipped for every good work. A future father, teacher, missionary, leader, or "whatever else the Lord might call him to do" building up his arsenal.
I was reminded as he studied, however, that God's word does not return void. It is not something that is just stored up for the future, like an arrow sitting in a quiver waiting for the archer to pull it out and shoot it. When we memorize it, we are not tucking it neatly away for a time when it may become useful.
The Bible is profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness... in the present. The more time we spend in the Word daily, the more we become like Christ, daily. In this article on scripture memory, John Piper gives six reasons for Scripture memorization, all of which deal with our day-to-day walk with the Lord.
So, we have a made a pledge to be more diligent in memorizing on a daily basis, even when it is not Bible Bee season. Likewise, I encourage you to get your children involved in next year's Bible Bee. Only three children out of thousands will win the big scholarships, but every child will reap the rewards of studying the Bible with such intensity.