The man who took eight years to learn one Bible verse
When Pambo returned, the old man said, "Where have you been? I haven't seen you for eight years. Why didn't you come back to hear the rest of the Psalm?" Pambo replied, "Since I hadn't learned the first verse, I didn't return to you to get the second, since God had not given me the grace until now to learn it."
Young Pambo grew to become one of the great monks of the desert and someone sought out by all sorts of people for his wisdom and godliness. Near the end of his seventy years, Pambo reflected that since he became a monk, he had never spoken a word he regretted. He chalked this up not to his own determination but to God's grace.
In writing this story, I also thought of Brennan Manning, whose spiritual director once said to him, "Brennan, you don't need more insights into the faith. You've got enough insights to last you three hundred years. The most urgent need in your life is to trust what you have received."
It makes one pause and think about how seriously we take (a) the Bible's cautions about "sins of the tongue," (b) Scripture in general, and (c) our need to be patient as God works within us.