Think Deep, Drink Deep

Babies talk.  Ma, Da, Ba.  Easy to say sitting there at the front of the mouth.  Simple sounds swell into words. Baby now has more than cries and smiles and bubbles for making self known.

Words grow.  They are strong for the telling of wants and needs, for the speaking of pains and pleasures.  They are for the laugh that makes the belly ache.  For the sharing of woes that washes the cheek with salty water. Words are for the giving of information and for the sharing of the heart.

Words on paper are there for the reading.  And so the child is taught.  The first word is conquered.  Two words form a sentence.  Sentences make a story that is fun for the reading. Sentences breed essays, chapters, and whole books.

The child grows.  They learn this secret: books are for more than the telling of stories.  They are for  time travel to the pyramids, the Old West, the Great War.   They are for understanding the world around us – trees and birds and clouds.  Stars and black holes and quarks.  Politics, economics, and foreign policy.   Books are a tool for the training of the mind.  And then there is this truth:  easy books may grow the mind a little, but hard books fill and expand the mind.

The running fast and playing hard during a game begets lungs that pant for air, muscles that long for oxygen.  Exercise for the body is hard.  Exercise for the mind is even harder.  Reading the demanding sentence strains the mind.  The new idea must be chewed and savored and swallowed.  This exercise for the mind makes us long for the simple.

The determined reader stays the course.  There is this to learn, that in perseverance the labor grows lighter.  The pushing and pushing through complex thoughts and ideas scoops out a place deep inside.  When the understanding comes, the hollow is filled and the soul is nourished.

There is this kind of poverty that is hard to glimpse.  It is the poverty of the mind and it bequeaths a poverty of the soul.  A poverty that does not see past the next meal or  party or game.  A poverty that moves one along  with no stopping to drink in the words that nourish the soul.

But there is the soul that has lived being nourished by strong words.  That soul begins to ask:  Is there a  purpose for the universe?  Is there a purpose for me?   There is a pushing and pushing for answers that scoops the inside hollow so deep that the soul wonders:  Can this hollow ever be filled?

Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and philosopher said this:

There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.’

Think deep and drink deep.   It all begins with words.

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7 thoughts on “Think Deep, Drink Deep

  1. nice Jill : ) Did you read Phee’s blog this morning…or mine? Seems we were all at the computer typing away this morning…..themes: exalting God, pleading with God, and acknowledging the spot for God in our hearts! God’s Word is so rich and full….blessing each of us in our need.. filling us in preparation for the Day.

    • Yes, Sheryl. I read both of your blogs. I have not been able to post a comment. I am impressed with how quickly you can put your thoughts on paper! I need to take a speed writing class from you. 🙂

      I may have misfired on this particular blog. What I was trying to communicate is that, in my opinion, people tend to gravitate toward things that are easy to read: novels, magazine articles, books that are not particularly challenging in terms of their content. We are pretty content with superficial thinking; we tend to like books that move our emotions, but not necessarily our minds. However, it has been my experience that the ‘better’ I think, the more I see of God.

  2. wow. that is deep in and of itself…I will have to chew on it! 🙂 I LOVE these blogs…Sheryl, did you post one today, too?

  3. Jill, you’re so right. I love to read, and I enjoy the challenge of the hard books. But I usually choose the easy ones because they’re, well, easy. Thanks for the reminder to stretch my mind. It was so much easier when I could discuss them with you. Phee

    • Phee, I always enjoyed discussing books with you. Do you remember starting the book, Lies Women Believe? The reading group I am in now is just finishing it up. It is fairly simple, but there were some good points. Our next book is another one by Piper. I’m looking forward to that. 🙂 We just finished one by Bonhoeffer and that was pretty good. It was about fellowship. Are you in any sort of book group now?

    • Thanks, Jacquie. Interesting read and I also enjoyed the comments. Although I value literature, I don’t know why Slow Books couldn’t also include non-fiction.

      Right now I am reading Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson which talks about savoring and assimilating God’s Word. I think the idea may be the same, but of course the content is much more valuable.

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