"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~
Now, I know most of you out there like chocolate to varying degrees, but the question is: How do you eat your chocolate?
Do you eat the Hershey bar in three bites and find yourself longing for more? Do you eat it in smaller bites, still rather quickly? Or do you savor it – taking time to allow it to slowly dissolve in your mouth?
Unfortunately, I’m a chocolate chomper. I tend to love the stuff so much, I’m in a hurry to devour it before I have to share (I had three children who also had a sweet tooth…)
Well now that the kiddos are gone, I find myself relaxing somewhat and trying to savor my chocolate. Unfortunately it usually turns out like the old Tootsie Pop commercial – “How many licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop? One, Two…Chomp - Three.” I can only savor it for so long before I have to finish off the rest of the bar in one, maybe two bites.
Being a chocoholic chomper is indicative of other aspects of my life as well, like reading. I used to hungrily devour books, skimming them but not really reading them word for word. In College I did well enough, having a kind of inner radar for the important sentences.
But the practice continued after the kids were born. Perhaps that’s a Mom thing, too, when you don’t have as much time as you’d like to sit down and really savor a book, considering its depth and tasting its sweetness. At least I might use that for an excuse. But the kiddos grew up – no more excuses.
Is there any hope for chocolate chomping book scanners? Maybe. What helped me is the process of learning to write. As I wrote my first novel, I wanted to sprint to the end, but ended up with only 50 pages. Not good.
So I had to take time to savor the story, really get to know my character and share scenes in a way that mattered to her. Just as emotional healings take time in real life, hers did too and I began to see the amazing way God worked things out in her life.
She mentored me through the process of learning to savor life. Through her life, I learned to slow down and read the words, experience the emotions and to live. What an amazing discovery.
At times there’s still only three licks to the center of life’s Tootsie Pop, but when that happens, I stop, go back and take a second slower look at things – I really read the words. At last I’ve learned to taste life and see that the Lord is good!