Rabbi or Rabbit? A brief critique of my reading habits
I’m scrolling through Facebook, trying to find a quick productivity fix.
Come on, come on, come on…
Finally an article catches my eye.
I scan the article, not even bothering with body text.
I’m only looking for the bold bullet points.
1. Got em.
2. Quick win.
Then, somehow I stumble onto Wikipedia and start reading about an artist I like.
Halfway down the bio, this person worked with someone else during their third album…who’s that artist?
It starts off, “Born in the Ukraine…” Where’s Ukraine again?
A couple paragraphs down: “The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited by humans since 32,000 BC. During the Middle Ages, the area was a key center of East Slavic culture…” Hmm, Middle Ages. When was that again?
By this time I’ve forgotten why I started.
Has that ever been you? For the last while, I’ve been so jittery in my online reading that it makes me wonder if all my good reading habits that I developed in college were now lost. But something makes me think that I’m not alone in this.
It’s sad for me to admit, but these bad reading habits have changed the way I have been interacting with the Holy Word of God. I’ve become so erratic elsewhere that when I approach the Bible, I draw near with the same expectations and the same fluttering eye movements. Where are the bullet points in this thing? Where are the “Four Mistakes I’m Making as a Husband and How to Fix them Right Now”? Where is the “Five Steps to Having Work-Life Balance”? Where are the “Ten Ways to Be a Better Disciple of Christ”? Where are the bolded words that God wants me to pay attention to? Where are the summaries? Why are these paragraphs so long and boring? Where are the large, featured block quotations on the side of the page? Why isn’t this as easy to digest as a blog post? What happened to my three glossy takeaways?
God’s Word doesn’t work like that: it’s not for skimmers and scanners. He doesn’t give His wisdom to rabbits who are only willing to scurry in and leap out. I need to become less like a rabbit and more like rabbi: meditating day and night so that the words are written on your heart. Basking in them. Soaking in them. Asking them questions. Digesting slowly, so to speak, that I may enjoy the food more fully. The Word of God, unlike scanning the internet, demands all of our attention. The Word of God, unlike a blog post, is about slow wins that take hard thought, quiet meditation, and complete surrender to the Truth.
So. Here’s my challenge to myself and also to you. From now until next Thursday, every time you’re on the internet looking for a quick win, another bullet point blog post, go to God’s Word, slow down, and engage with Him until your rabbit-like tendencies fade. The next time you feel the same urge, go to God’s Word again, breathe deeply, and read slowly, retraining yourself to take in rich food.