Monday, October 4, 2010

Soaking up

Last week the area I live in got its first rain in about a month. While I understand the need for rain, it usually just annoys me- it ruins my plans and makes travel more difficult. Furthermore, it gets my jeans wet when I walk in it...and if you've ever experienced this, jeans take a long time to dry.

Have you ever noticed that if you stand in a wet spot long enough or walk outside in the rain your pants (and especially jeans) get wet and the wet area far exceeds the depth of the water? This phenomenon that seems to defy gravity is called "wicking" . I don't want to get into the science of it, but if you the link on "wicking" or look it up on wikipedia. It's pretty interesting to read about, but usually pretty annoying to experience. Because, as I mentioned before, jeans take forever to dry, so a ten minute walk in the rain can "stay with you" for hours.

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates" Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Last year I took an intro to Hebrew course and came to love Deuteronomy 6:4, or what is called the Shema. The Shema is recited regularly by Jews and has been for centuries. Many of us are more familiar with verse 5- Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. But the language really starts to capture me in the next few verses. The passage instructs on what is to be done so that the people of Israel remember their God. They are to steep their very lives with the confession that there is one God, their God. By soaking in this proclamation, it becomes something (as the writer says) impressed on the hearts (we may think mind is more fitting) of the people.

How often do you "soak up" the Word? Do you spend long enough in it consistently for it to have some kind of effect on you? One discipline we could learn from the Jewish faith is the practice of rituals as a means to ingrain scripture into our heads and hearts. Spending enough time reading and reflecting on the words we have in the Bible could lead to more change than we think. We may find it "wicking" into other parts of our lives. Allow yourself to sit with the Word and take it with you this week. I hope you become saturated in some of the Word this week.


Amy Hadley said...

Man, this is a great analogy! And I think a good illustration of why we should read the Bible, not out of guilt or obligation, but because it really makes a difference in our lives!

I do believe I'll be recycling this analogy someday.

Russ Bowlin said...

thanks for the comment. feel free to borrow anytime.