One of my favorite things to do with my youth group or new set of faith formation students is to give them a box of pencils. I usually hand a new unopened box of pencils to a student and then ask them to get me a marker out of it. They typically look at me like I'm crazy, a look I know well, or tell me they can't. I become pretty insistent that I need a marker and they must get me one out of that box. And when they tell me they can't I keep asking them why not.
This goes on for a couple minutes, because the crazy look can last a while and I do want them to talk to me. We then come to the conclusion that they will never be able to get a marker out of a box of pencils because no one put markers into a box of pencils. So I ask them what are they putting into their hears, brains and souls. Ahhh yes because if you don't put it in, you can never take it out.
I usually ask them to imagine a gumball machine and wanting m&m's. And no matter how long they stand there and how many quarters they throw into that thing they will never get m&m's out of a gumball machine. Unless someone comes and fills it with, you guessed it, m&m's.
We are like that. We are told to hide the Word in our hearts. And we do this because that is the only way it will be there when we need it. When I am scared of the dark I wouldn't be able to fall back on, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind." (2 Tim 1:7) if I hadn't hidden it in my heart.
This is also a good opportunity to talk about the quality of the things we put in our minds, hearts, and souls. And how important it is to have that good stuff to call on when we need it.