Becoming a better reader

I don’t know about you, but I hate reading. I do. Sounds like a contradiction when the primary source of wisdom and inspiration from my God is a collection of 66 books, letters, and songs. Reading is work for me. I tend to read at the rate people speak. I read in real time, as though someone were narrating the words on the page to me in my head (different voices an all in the case of fiction, but that’s another issue).

The only fiction I actually enjoy reading is Star Wars novels. Big surprise, I know. I like to read non-fiction when it is a means to an end. Like technical stuff. Web coding, how networking works and how to fix it, how to do something I’m interested in. Perhaps that’s why I don’t like reading other things because I equate reading with doing. For me, if I read a book on prayer, Bible study/preaching methods, some errant doctrine floating around, I feel compelled to use it or do something about it, when it seems like I can hardly handle what’s already on my plate as it is. All these guys want me to do is more? Pass!

But when you are a pastor, most of what other pastors talk about is, “Have you read this?” “Oh, you gotta read this guy, he’s crazy good.” For some of these guys, if you have not read their favorite stuff they kinda take it personal like. They look at you like you are some hick fresh off the truck. So what if I haven’t read this book by Spurgeon or that book by Lewis. 

I’m one of those people who’s mind is always going. A-L-W-A-Y-S. While I’m driving, while I’m eating, while I’m trying to go to sleep, while I’m having a conversation, even while I’m teaching, my mind is going, chewing on something. Can you spell ADD? To add reading, to add the thoughts of another person to all that just drives me crazy. To try and make the voices go away I usually watch TV. My brain doesn’t stop, but it does slow down. Maybe this is why I like sci-fi. I can imagine I’m somewhere else. Sponge Bob works for that as well. (It actually took me years to get the joke behind the name of the town; Bikini Bottom.)

However, this is the easy way out. Instead of disciplining my mind, instead of being transformed by the renewing of my mind, I’m feeding it cotton candy. Tastes good, but has no substance and rots the teeth. So I’m going to make an effort to become a better reader. I’m going to cut back the late-night TV and crack open some books. (Perhaps it will cure my insomnia.) In fact, I put a book down to write this thing. I’m reading the book I have actually promoted on my own blog. “A New Earth, An Old Deception” by Richard Abanes. I picked it up today along with another book that I will talk about when I get to it. The title is kind of misleading and I don’t want to hang that cheese out in the wind right now.

Anyway, happy reading.

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