Monday, February 19, 2007

In Other Words - Skimming is not my friend

"Those who read fast reap no more advantage than a bee would by only skimming over the surface of the flower, instead of waiting to penetrate into it, and extract its sweets." ~ Madame Jeanne Guyon

Hi, I'm Crystal. I'm a skimmer. Not so much when I read the Word in study, but in everything else. See, I have a short attention span and even though I love to read, I have a hard time concentrating on something that doesn't especially hold my interest. I have to consciously slow down and make myself focus, or else I'll end up reading the same thing over and over and over again with no more knowledge of what I just read than I had before I started. The whole skimming thing has never worked for me. If I tried it in school, I wouldn't be able to answer the questions. If I try to skim an article, I'll never remember important information. If I skim a friend's email or internet posts, I'll miss the fine details of their lives. Skimming just does not work at all for someone like me, especially since I already have a horrible memory.

Obviously, I have already found the wisdom in this week's quote to be true in many aspects of my life. However, the quote is pertaining specifically to skimming while reading the Bible. When I open up the Word to study, I read slowly and try to understand what I'm reading. But honestly, I don't think even that is enough to truly extract all the sweetness of His Word. It wasn't until I bought a good concordance that I realized how much goodness we miss out on when we read from our translation of choice. SO much is truly lost in translation. That is why I appreciate Bible studies that put a lot of emphasis into original language study of the passages or topics on which the study is based.

I admire people who really dig deep and embrace the full meaning of scripture instead of just what we have in our favorite translation. Following in those footsteps and learning to do that myself has opened up my eyes to several things in scripture that I would have missed had I not learned this valuable lesson. I think if more people would do this, then perhaps less scripture would be taken out of context and more growth would happen from the understanding gained in this practice.

If you don't study the Word in this way, I urge you to give it a shot. I promise it is worthwhile. Don't skim, but don't stop there. Dive DEEP into the scriptures, plunging past the limits of our English language translations so you don't miss some of the sweetest droplets of the nourishing nectar that is God's Word.

(And remind me to do the same.) ;o)

Don't forget to visit Laurel Wreath, this week's host, and read her thoughts on the quote. :o)


eph2810 said...

What wonderful thoughts you are sharing, Crystal. I have to admit that I am often a 'skimmer' too. When I was trying to 'cram' in the entire Bible in one year, I didn't get much out of it, because I could not really savor His Word for nourishment. Much was wasted...I like a good concordance too. But sometimes even with one, I don't really understand a particular Scripture until later--then I have those 'AHA' moments.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this week's IOW quote. Blessings on your day and always...

Denise said...

Thanks for sharing, your thoughts were awesome, bless you.

Camy Tang said...

I am a TOTAL skimmer, too! It's part of being a writer--it's part of my job to spend at least as much time reading as I do writing, and I have SO MUCH to read! I sometimes wish I could speed read!

I try not to skim when reading my Bible, but I don't always take the time I should.

MiPa said...

I love the call to "dive deep" and not be limited by our language translations to "get the nectar." Great encouragments. Thank you for sharing.

Becky said...

Before I became a H.S. Principal, I spent my life working with ADD kids. One thing I learned is that skimming a book to look for information is a skill and not everyone has that skill. Skimming is not a way to learn the information, but to find something you are looking for, a particular word, a particular scripture, etc. A much more beneficial method of studying the Bible is what you suggest in your post. Great job!

Laurel Wreath said...

First off, love your new design it is beautiful.

I love reading your take on this quote. It is so true, things can get lost in translation that is why I love to read the different translations, and view Strong's where he picks apart almost each word to give you the meaning.

Blessings. Thank you for participating.

Jennifer said...

Hi Crystal,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They are so introspective but apply so universally. It was a blessings to read them-

Cindy said...

"I have to consciously slow down and make myself focus, or else I'll end up reading the same thing over and over and over again with no more knowledge of what I just read than I had before I started."

Crystal, that's how it often is with me when I read the Bible. I have to make myself focus. I honestly believe reading one small passage, and fully digesting and recieving it, is much better than barreling through several chapters without comprehension and benefit.

Amydeanne said...

I'm a skimmer too.. I hate reading full heartedly with concentration, yet it's so important if I want to retain it.
Great post!!!

Shelley said...

I like studying deeper too - with regard to original language, etc. I took a year of Greek and two of Hebrew (one of advanced) during my studies for my BA in Biblical Studies (I just graduated last April, at age 37) and enjoyed them both. I like knowing the meanings behind the Hebrew words (like people's names) and that sometimes there is "double meaning" or something of the sort that gets lost because of translation.

Darlene said...

I love the get into the Greek interlinear Bible because it is written so differently, it makes me focus in a new way and notice things I missed before.

Taya said...

I so desire to dig deeper! Great post! Blessings