This week I had a picture of riding a ten speed through the halls of the Louvre Museum. This unsolicited image popped into my head as I had two different conversations around our Bible Study table. One fellow was very excited about a magazine type book, he had read, which gave a sweeping picture of the whole of Scripture. Another fellow had committed to reading the Bible in a year and was explaining to me how many chapters he was reading a day.
Do you see the origins of my mental image? I understand the value of a scriptural overview. In fact, I have often taught a course “See Through the Scriptures” and I find value in reading a quantity of scripture (and here is where the “but” comes in). A diet that solely consists of either overview or speed reading is not spiritually nutritious.
A cycle through the Louvre might be advantageous if it leads to circling back to the points where we can sit with the art and absorb its beauty and meaning.
We do not often move speedily in our daily studies. We pause often to sit with a passage or verse. We do not move on quickly but chew on a morsel getting as much of the nutrients as we can absorb. Often this will include putting the verses in the context of the ‘big picture’, placing it in the gallery so to speak, but I advocate a depth rather than a breadth survey of the Scriptures.
This past week Linda and I went to a symposium in Halifax. The topic was helping those released from prison find a welcome. I was in touch with the organizers before hand because I was concerned that the chairs would be supportive for my back. A recent ‘church’ conference had left me in substantial discomfort a few weeks ago and I was hoping to avoid a repeat, at all costs.
I arrived with my back rest and sat quite comfortably through the time. The next day we went to join friends of Linda at their church. This church meets in a school. When I walked into the sanctuary my heart sank! The chairs were of the flimsiest variety. I raced out to the car and brought in my back rest, but it did not work. I thought to myself “This service better be good, because I will be paying for it for weeks!” Before he started preaching the pastor relayed that he felt that we should be praying for people with back problems that morning. He asked folks with back problems to raise their hands and then had folks around pray for them. Immediately I felt relief, but I thought I should give it some time before I suggested a healing. I have not had any pain since and have managed to sleep through the night without being awakened my pain, for the first time in a long time. My kind of back trouble involves things slipping out of alignment, so I am not ready to proclaim that it won’t ‘slip’ again, but I do exult in the freedom from pain I now sense.
Before I said “Yes” to the idea of a new challenge involving a home for a Street Hope recovery Centre I was concerned about my physical health to carry it out. I wondered if my spirit was willing but my flesh was weak. I decided that I could trust God for all the resources. For now, at least, I have greater measure of those resources and I believe this is a token of God’s faithfulness and favour.