Today I read a post by Gunner, my former RD at Master’s, about digging for gold in God’s Word.
I have two (sad) observations in response to that post, and a plea. Yes, a plea. First, the observations.
I’ve been a missionary kid for, well, my entire life, even counting the time between conception and birth. I’ve been in lots and lots of church services and heard more sermons than I could possibly count. But it is difficult for me to remember the few sermons that practiced what he recommends —digging for God’s deeper insights and the intricate details of the Word— when I remember all the “insightful teachers” who simply skimmed off the top, as he puts it. I have very rarely been around when gold was struck. And I’ve never seen anything that resembled a gold rush.
That’s probably why I don’t know how to dig for gold myself, what to expect, or when to expect it. I can tell when it’s only mica flakes or “salted” gold being extracted, to some extent, because I have a highly critical mind, but all too often I even let that slide or fail to notice. And in my own studies, while I’m aware that I skim and hardly ever strike gold, I’m not sure what to do about it. I feel mostly powerless.
Following the (admittedly uninspired) advice of Nick Malik’s recent post on not trying to make people both think and change at the same time, I’d like to ask —no, make that plead— for some “pre-thunk” thoughts to help the process of change. What specific things need to change in my life or habits (or your life or habits, or…) to dig for gold? It’s not enough to simply say, “It’s easy, just start digging” when I’ve been trying to dig for five or six years now. “Just try harder” won’t cut it either — I have OCD1, so I’m practically the prince of trying futilely harder. Perhaps “have patience” is closer, but it isn’t very encouraging or very specific, and I don’t think that’s really quite what Gunner has in mind here. After all, he says at the end of his post, “Don’t leave the riches of Scripture to the professors and the professionals. Simply read it, study it, memorize it, and contemplate it, and God in His mercy will shed its light broadly in your mind and heart.”
It’s simple once you get it, but I don’t get it, and though I’ve made some progress over the years, I never quite have gotten it.
1I will virtually guarantee that you do not have OCD. Trust me. You may have a few weird habits. That’s not the same as OCD. Not even close.