Tuesday, February 20, 2007

In other words...

"Those who read fast reap no more advantage than a bee would by only skimming over the surface of the flower, instead of waiting to penetrate into it, and extract its sweets."
~ Madame Jeanne Guyon ~

I'm a voracious reader. And I'm a very fast reader.

Especially if I'm captivated by a story, I can finish a book in a very short period of time--and without the feeling that I've skimmed anything or sped through it. Perhaps from a lifetime of reading, I'm simply able to read, absorb, and fully comprehend what I'm reading, very quickly.

Not so when it comes to the Bible.

There is something about God's Word that doesn't invite speed-reading. Or even the very fast reading that is my norm when reading fiction.

God's Word, I believe, wasn't meant to be skimmed lightly, or to be sped through so that you can complete some sort of quantity-based Bible-reading goal you've set for yourself.

Oh, don't get me wrong--I'm all for Bible-reading goals! In fact, I never read through the Bible until my parents gave me a One Year Bible for Christmas one year. Divided up into 365 readings, including a portion of the Old Testament, a portion of the New Testament, a portion of Psalms and a Proverb, it made finishing the entire Bible do-able. In previous years, I would start off with great intentions, but tended to get bogged down in geneologies and Levitical rules.

That being said, God's Word needs to sink in to be fully appreciated, and you can't do that by reading it fast. While I will continue to cruise through my favorite fiction at Autobahn speed, I can't do that with the Bible.

I will pledge, as Madame Guyon says, to always penetrate the flower, and extract its sweets.

"...the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
"More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb." Psalm 19: 9b,10

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