Tuesday, 10 July 2007

By the book

"I haven't read a book in my life. I haven't got enough time. I prefer to listen to music, although I do love fashion magazines."
Victoria Beckham

According to the BBC website, (
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6285740.stm) we are reading more. Apart from Victoria Beckham – and I’m not going down that road! As Albert Einstein said:

“I refuse to engage in an intellectual battle with an unarmed man.”
‘Nuff said.

Anyway, the BBC story seems like good news - although I suppose that it depends to some extent on what is being read. Research like this is interesting, but is it valuable? Actually, I’m not going to knock it or over-analyse – just accept it as good news. I like the idea of filling gaps in schedules with reading. Given that I’m ‘pathologically early’ for everything, it’s been a habit of mine for many years to carry journals and articles with me to read in the inevitable gaps.

However, one of my bad habits has been to read a few chapters of a book and then shelve it for months, while I pick up another one repeat the process. I recently had to tidy up my bookshelves (enough to make them presentable) because we had visitors coming. So I found all the partially read stuff, and put them in the priority pile, with a challenge to myself to get through (all the way through) them over the summer. We’ll see how that goes.

And finally for today, I surprised myself. I was thinking about Romans 12, and found myself looking at the message version. Now I have a long‑standing aversion to the Message. I’ve nothing against Eugene Peterson. If I’m honest about it, it’s probably intellectual snobbery or pretentiousness on my part, but it’s real enough to me! So, I like this passage - maybe I’ll try and be a lot less judgemental and a wee bit more open-minded.

Here’s the passage:

1-2 So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

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