A few years back, I had the impression that I sensed God telling me, "Read. Read. Read."
I love to read. But there are so many other things in life that can come in and crowd it out. Good things. And plenty of them. Great in their place. Not so great out of place.
I venture to say that I get the greatest reward out of reading than most any other activity. First and foremost, of course, Scripture. Regularly. Consistently. Blogger friend Allan Bevere shared this informative, formative article from Christian History, entitled, "The Habits of Highly Effective Bible Readers: What we can learn from the church fathers that will enrich our own Bible study". It is good to read widely. But the more we do so, the more we need to keep at our reading of Scripture. Francis Schaeffer used to tell his students that it was even more critical that they should keep up their Bible reading, while reading philosophy. And to be reading it, then, all the more!
Of course read what interests you. What interests you is related to who you are which is related to how God has gifted you. Therefore I will major on what interests me. But also I will want to stretch beyond that, at times, to learn to appreciate other subjects and ways of writing. I tend to like nonfiction and theology, and hang all the rest. Except for good humor. Need some of that. But the blog world has helped me stretch beyond just what I know I like. Ernest Hemmingway's The Old Man and the Sea is a great example of a fiction book that was a great read for me. And I look forward to reading more classics, especially theological, which I could easily neglect, except for good friends in the blog world, who awaken me to some of those books.
When reading I don't worry myself sick over trying to remember all the details (like I used to). I think more in terms of impact and formation, than ideas and information- though without discounting the latter. I think this is especially important in Bible reading. Though true in other, as well (unless you're reading much of politics or the sports page; that's good for practicing your speed reading and scanning- ha). I have to say, I'm not a fan of speed reading. Maybe some high speed intellects can do it. I can't. Even John Wesley, who knew by memory the Greek New Testament better than he knew the English translation of it, was known for reading slowly. Of course he did alot of his reading on horseback. I think it is perfectly fine to read slow. With pauses here and there to gather our thoughts. But to keep moving that pace. Even if you don't think you're really "getting" all of it.
Just some thoughts on one of my favorite individual pastimes. I think I'll go upstairs now and read.
What would you like to share about your own reading?