Is faster always better? Think about that for a minute before moving on…
I can reheat a piece of pizza in the microwave in thirty seconds. If I were to use my toaster oven to reheat that same piece of pizza it would certainly take longer. So is my toaster oven obsolete? NO WAY! If I want a nice crispy piece of reheated pizza it’s worth waiting for the toaster oven to work its magic. I never found a microwave that was able to retain the crispiness factor of anything!
Sometimes, before we even know it, we’ve sacrificed quality for speed. The real tragedy is this happens in our spiritual lives as much as it does in our culinary lives. Take Bible reading as an example. When is the last time you focused on one single verse for more than the time it took you to read it?
Or a singe word.
We need to take a cue from my toaster oven because sometimes it’s worth the wait. Thinking over a passage of scripture is a really valuable exercise. Considering it from different angles. Pausing on one word at a time until we have heard from our Creator in every possible way.
Sometimes speed is good. Better something than nothing. But don’t enslave yourself to speed otherwise a convenience will become an entrapment.
- Take your reading plan to the next level by reading the same passage for seven consecutive days. (I know this will drive you box checkers mad!). When we do this we are seeking quality over quantity. We are expecting the Bible to speak to us more than once and in more than one way. We are recognizing that the depth of Scripture deserves our attention as much as its breadth.
- Read. Each. Word. Of. A. Verse. As. If. It. Were. Followed. By. A. Period. God chose every word of the Bible. Each word communicates something to the reader. By pausing and reflecting on each new word you encounter you open up a storehouse of new ways for God to work in your heart and life.
- Commit to write out three verses of Scripture on an index card each day for a week. The difference between an email and a love letter does not need to be explained. Taking time to write out Scripture focuses us and slows us down. It helps us bring more of our senses into the exercise of internalizing the Scripture on which we are focused.
Toaster Oven’s might be quaint. They may or may not make a comeback. But they can still serve to remind us that some things are worth waiting for.
Is it easy or difficult for you to slow the pace at which you read Scripture?
Does reading less Scripture make you feel more guilty? Why or why not?
Do you have any methods or suggestions for the rest of us on how to read Scripture slowly?