Recently Allen and I were having a conversation about a book that he is reading, which reviewed the way that we as people had changed over the past century. It noted that we cannot read. Inundated with all sources of the media around us, pictures, blogs, catalogs, advertisements, magazines and even some books have come to be filled with many more pictures and many less words than they used to or they are a new form of media altogether that focuses less on reading and more on skimming, or glancing at pictures.
I admit that I skim blogs with the best of them. I look at your pictures, scan the words and then click "Mark All As Read" so that I can keep caught up with everyone on my Google Reader.
Maybe this shouldn't be so.
Perhaps, in effort to guard my time and choose not what is "okay" for me to do but what is MOST beneficial, I should choose just a couple blogs and internet resources that are an encouragement, challenge and exhortation to me, and certainly only visit those blogs after I have given time to the Lord, my children and it happens to be nap time when I don't actually need one.
I'm not saying this has to be everyone's strategy, but being in the season of life that I am in with small children, this will be most beneficial to me. But, regardless of the season of life you are in, spending unprofitable time on the internet is not being careful with our time, which should be shaped by biblical priorities.
I guess the question we should ask ourselves is, "Does this hinder me? or Is this keeping me from valuable reading/study or meeting with people?" and take it from there.
Now, the whole point of this blog post, an exceptionally good reason to carve 15 minutes out of your day:
Do you READ?
Why or why not?
If the answer is no or not as much as I would like, check this out (courtesy of John Piper):
Suppose you read about 250 words a minute and that you resolve to devote just 15 minutes a day to serious theological reading to deepen your grasp of Biblical truth. In one year (356 days) you would read for 5,475 minutes. Multiply that times 250 words per minute and you get 1,368,750 words per year. Now most books have between 300 and 400 words per page. So if we take 350 words per page and divide that into 1,368,750 words per year we get 3,910 pages per year. This means that at 250 words a minute, fifteen minutes a day you could read about 20 average sized books a year!Now, if you are a member of New Life, I just want to encourage you to read along with us in Total Church. It's an amazing book and it is serving to get the entire body of believers on the "same page" regarding the goals of the church and ministry together. New Life's blog is also following along through the chapters, so make sure to check that out.
You will not be the same person next year at this time. Your mind will be stretched, your heart enlarged, your zeal more fervent. Above all you will have grown in wisdom. And it may not be long until someone says of you: "the words of his mouth are as deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a gushing spring" (Proverbs 18:4).
I hope this challenges you that even if you aren't a self-proclaimed reader, you can do this. Anyone can. And how much more worthwhile to say at the end of the year that you read 10 books than to say that you saw some cool websites or blogs during the year.
If you need ideas of what to read, please checkout my book list on the right sidebar of this blog. These are books that Allen and I wholeheartedly endorse.
One last challenge: share what you are learning with someone else. Don't keep it to yourself!