Make The Text Part of Your Life

I was one of those lucky/unlucky kids to whom things came easily–well intellectual things, definitely not athletic ones. I earned straight As–until I didn’t. The unlucky part is that I didn’t learn how to study until well into university. And even then, that was baby steps. I learned about learning the hard way.

I had read Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor famous for his Meditations. Ryan Holiday has made a career out of popularizing the Stoics and especially Marcus. He stated in a recent Daily Stoic, “It’s not about skimming a couple thousand books. It’s not about “getting the gist of it,” as Marcus derided. It’s about making it a part of your life and your mind. It’s about lingering and digesting until it takes firm hold, never to be dislodged.”

Ah, the secret. read it until it’s part of your life. Don’t read the New Testament one and done. We can’t skim the letters of Paul and think we are experts and know how to live. I’d suggest reading the letter of James. Repeatedly. Until those words are not words but the very fiber of your life. Think before you speak. Love all the people, not only the rich. Listen.

It’s not simply memorization. We all know many people who can quote vast quantities of the Bible yet have lives of bitterness and hate. I like the metaphor of the tea ceremony. Infusing the leaves into boiling water until the goodness of the tea permeates every molecule in the pot.

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