Stop and Study the Roses

Life lived at a high pace exacts a greater cost than we realize. The ability to slow down and take time to study and pen thoughts is seen as a luxury when it should be seen as a necessity. — Ravi Zacharias in Beyond Opinion

Why do we take time to study Scripture, or dig into a good book, or have a rich conversation, or just think? Do we take that time because it is important, or do we actually see it as a luxury — nice if it works out but no urgency?

We are good stewards of the mind and materials given to us. Or, if you prefer: You have a brain, use it. Most, if not all, of us reading this are highly educated. This blessing of education is on top of the brain with which we were born. Both mind and education are gifts, so why waste them? Further, we have access to more intellectual material at this point in history than any other point. We have books to read, libraries to visit, classes to take, lectures to absorb — such abundance! How are we using that for good?

We communicate the glory of God. The context of the Zacharias quotation above is apologetics — defending your faith. If we are not dwelling on truth and wrestling with concepts, what do we have to share? What answers do we have to questions? How can we encourage each other? Fulfilling our calling (I Peter 2:9) requires some thought.

Let us labour assiduously to increase in knowledge, that ours may be a deeply rooted and rational affection. — William Wilberforce in A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians…Contrasted with Real Christianity

In addition to stewardship and sharing, Wilberforce points out one more reason above. We can love God more deeply. If we know only one aspect of who God is, we can worship Him greatly. But how much greater will our love be when we learn more? We may be thankful now for the water cycle, but our awe and gratitude will grow as we understand the solar system also. A basic understanding of salvation is a cause for overwhelming joy. How much more is in store as we continue in exploration of what God has done?

Consider: “Essentialism”

In Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown describes productivity as a mindset of less is better. He maintains that throwing more energy in fewer paths will lead to greater progress.

Here are two brief excerpts from the book:

The way of the Essentialist means living by design, not by default. Instead of making choices reactively, the Essentialist deliberately distinguishes the vital few form the trivial many, eliminates the nonessentials, and then removes obstacles so the essential things have clear, smooth passage. In other words, Essentialism is a disciplined, systematic approach for determining where our highest point of contribution lies, then making execution of those things almost effortless.

Essentialism…is a discipline you apply each and every time you are faced with a decision about whether to say yes or whether to politely decline. It’s a method for making the tough trade-off between lots of good things and a few really great things. It’s about learning how to do less but better so you can achieve the highest possible return on every precious moment of your life.

These books are set here as possibilities for you to explore. Posts and links are not endorsements or paid publicity.