A blog is an autobiography written as you're reading it.

Focus

Our day and age moves at a faster pace than any time before us. I read recently that we process something like 60,000 words a day. My current work-in-progress novel will be about that long. I’m sure you know the feeling that I have a lot: I wake up, open my inbox, my Google Reader, my Twitter, and several other various places. That’s not to mention the huge volume of gChats, Skypes, Facebook and Google+ notifications I get every day. Oh, and spam (well, you don’t read that).

Okay. So there’s a ton of information out there. And we live in a society that loves to Do Things. Everything flies by us at the speed of light – and you’d better make sure that you stay caught up. More information equals more knowledge, right? And more knowledge is a Good Thing, right? Well…maybe not.

“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.”

~ Winnie the Pooh

All this rushing around makes us feel busy, and knowleadgable, and all Smart, since we are getting Knowledge! But to be honest, if knowledge is hearing what my friends are doing on Twitter, what they’re writing, what they’re designing, and all of the rest of that junk, then I’m sick of it all.

I digress. I’m not slamming the internet. I love the inherent freedom of the internet — despite the fact that it’s been twisted by this fallen world — and I love the connections that the internet enables. I met one of my best friends on the internet, and stay connected with my friends via Skype. Again, I’m not slamming the internet — I’m tired of the information overload. I’m sick of trying to “keep up” all the time. I’m sick of trying to gain my knowledge by reading the latest Twitter statuses.

The truth is (no pun intended) – this information that our society has gotten so good at processing isn’t really Truth. Sure, it tastes good, but at the rate we’re going, it’s beginning to seem that we’re gorging ourselves on the hor d’oeuvres. We’ve been created to feed on real Truth.

Diamonds are found only in the deep bowels of the earth; truths are found only in the depths of thought.

~ Victor Hugo

This sort of slowing down is hard. But everyone’s recognizing that it needs to be done. I reviewed a book the other day about focusing — slowing down and taking life as it comes. I’ve tried to slow my own life down. I purged my RSS feeds maniacally, trimmed my Twitter list down to almost nothing, and unsubscribed from a bunch of newsletters I get. But that’s not the point.

We won’t find any real thoughts (at least, not many of them) lying around on the surface to be picked up. They require digging. And though we’ve trained ourselves to be satisfied with the shallow thoughts, it doesn’t work in the end, because it’s not what we were created for. Trimming down on the amount of info we take in doesn’t make a lick of difference.

God’s thoughts are what fulfill us. They’re the ones buried deep underground. Psalm 1 talks about God’s people as a tree – planted near living water – with roots that stretch down deep into the heart of the earth. That’s what we’re made to be: people that are able to dig deep and find the Truth; people that are willing to dig deep and get dirty and find thoughts that are worth thinking.

It takes me a good fifteen minutes in the morning to be ready for my devotions. Not because I have things to do, but because it takes me time to clear my mind of distractions. But just sitting on my couch for fifteen minutes seems like wasted time. It’s not! It’s not about getting things done. It’s about sitting in the presence of God and being awed. It’s about remembering what He did for us on the cross and letting that focus our thoughts. It’s about absorbing God’s Word direction from repeated, prolonged exposure.

A piece of glass that you find lying on the ground may look and seem to be very pretty. It may even be actually pretty. But it can’t begin to compare to the glimmering, true, beauty of a diamond, mined straight from the earth in all of its glory.

(Photo Credit Vickie J)

P.S. By the way, if you read this blog for any length of time you’ll find that diamonds are one of my favorite things!