The National Endowment for the Arts analyzed 24 studies on reading. In early 2007, their chairman, Dana Gioia, said the data was Ņsimple, consistent and alarming.Ó
Among the findings: there is a falloff in daily pleasure reading among young people as they progress from elementary to high school and into college. The data also showed that students who read for fun nearly every day performed better on reading tests. For adults, the proportion of people who read regularly for pleasure has declined. Mr. Gioia said that the statistics could not explain why reading had declined, but he pointed to several commonly accepted culprits, including the proliferation of digital diversions on the Internet and other gadgets, and the failure of schools and colleges to develop a culture of daily reading habits.
Recently, I read an article by Nicholas Carr. He thought his continued use of Google was creating a problem with his ability to concentrate for extended periods. He says, ŅFor me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.Ó
People make Internet searches for everything. Scholars at University College London call us modern Webites Ņpower browsers looking for a quick win.Ó We want to download a terabyte while we scarf a Pizza Bite. The Ethernet and wireless world have sedated us.
The word reading is an important link in this verse. ItÕs not a URL, for itÕs available only by faith to believers in Christ. Not everyone gets it! However, God wants Christians to spend time in His word. As we do, weÕll get to know Him better. ThatÕs the whole crux of eternal life. Today, we can read the Bible freely, hear it on CD, tape or a podcast, and see it easily in many forms, but God wants us to eat it. He wants us to chew it, to taste and to see that it is good Š sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. As we do, the Holy Spirit will open the eyes of our hearts so we may understand. What He doesnÕt want is for us to neglect it!
God has promised to work in us and to crop our rough edges, but that takes time. Oh, we were made right with God in a flash (justification), but He doesnÕt remove our sinful nature instantly. Rather, He works in us throughout our lives to conform us to the image of Christ (sanctification). We battle the flesh daily, but when itÕs all over, weÕll be made perfect (glorification) and get to spend time with Him Š forever. ThatÕs hope, and itÕs worth a fight!
Use the time wisely and make a concerted effort to spend time reading His word. As you do, the Holy Spirit will upgrade your understanding of the mystery Paul is explaining. So take time to unfold GodÕs word by getting up earlier than usual on a daily basis or staying up later at night. You have the mind of Christ. Desire the pure milk of the word and grow by it.
Mountain Time Moment
In reading this, then, you will be able to understand
PaulÕs insight into the mystery of Christ,
Ephesians 3:4 NIV/LV
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