Thursday, February 21, 2013

What in the World are We DOing?

Earlier today I commented on a fairly famous Christian pastor's blog. He was talking about how we have mountains of words -- books, articles, blogs, and we read and read but do we read too much and too shallowly? Should we consider the way people read in the past, slowly, memorizing as they went, making it a part of their very heart and soul? Well I couldn't help replying. It's an interesting topic! To start with, in the past, fewer books were available and so it was natural to read and re-read, gleaning as much as possible from the pages, much like a child licking out the chocolate cake bowl...and the spoon...and the beaters...and the spatula... It makes sense. And I agree, it would be beneficial to read in a deeper way. 

However. The past aside, the present and future before us, as well as shelves and stacks of books, it is essential to consider what we are DOING with all these treasures of knowledge. Ahhh, humans!! We love to think (important), and discuss (wonderful), and even debate (we have the answers), and it may preclude but can never take the place of actually putting some legs on it. This is what bothers me about myself. Somehow I've swallowed this idea that I can read, think, even pray, and if I don't get around to taking action it's alright, just missed a bit of the process. My friends, the doing IS the process.
The Entire Point.

Here is my comment (yeah...it was a little long...hence this post)
It's true. And yet, if you enjoy reading, what's the loss? Some books on my shelves are treasures that I go back to and read over every few years. Some are good books that for whatever reason I wasn't interested enough in to finish. So be it. Some I read once and have no desire to read again, but the colorful spines on the shelf bring a smile to my face as I remember. With all the actual problems I have, I'm not going to manufacture any based on what I did or didn't read deeply. A question that has been challenging me recently is "What have you done with what you've read?" Say I sit down and invest some time in one of the great books Tim Challies has reviewed and recommends. Do I simply say,"Well, that was pretty good. Theology was sound, far as I know. I enjoyed that. Next...." or did I think about a real, living breathing day-to-day change I could make? If it was about fulfilling the Great Commission, did I talk to anyone about my relationship with Jesus? If it was about the Holy Spirit, did I watch for His fruit in my life or consciously try to keep in step with Him? If it was a challenge to be thankful, did I thank someone, did I pray, did I write what I was grateful for? If I DO something with the information, it is never a loss. If it doesn't take root... and begin to grow...it wasn't deep enough. The motto of the complacently informed -- Think Deeply, Do as Little as Possible.
I cannot see Jesus sitting under a tree for hours discussing how people need to be healed and rescued, and then walking to the next town and discussing it again.
I CAN see Him sitting under the tree with the disciples, talking, teaching, sharing, thinking... and then going through the village healing, encouraging, challenging, helping. Talking to the tax collector up in the sycamore tree. Healing the daughter of the Canaanite woman, who had great faith. Feeding people with bread and fish. Preaching in the synagogue. Jesus did the work; He made the sacrifice. And ultimately sacrificed it all, His life -- exchanged for ours. And now He sees me, set free, bought with a price, sitting and talking under a tree. Reading, studying. Thinking. While the hungry beg by the side of the road. I hoard my food, I keep the directions hidden, and the searching wander farther away.

Read, Pray, Love....?
Do?

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