Monday, June 19, 2006

Revel In It!

I've just started reading Eat This Book, a book about reading Scripture by Eugene H. Peterson, translator of The Message which is the Bible in modern-day language. In chapter one of Eat This Book, Peterson begins his discussion of spiritual reading by examining the Hebrew word hagah which is often translated as "meditate", but sometimes is translated as "growl" in the way a lion growls as he is about to devour his prey. Here is a great quote from the book:
There is a certain kind of writing that invites this kind of reading, soft purrs and low growls as watering and soul-energizing morsel words--"O taste and see that the LORD is good!" (Psalm 34:8). Isaiah uses the...word (hagah)...for the cooing of a dove (38:14). One careful reader of this text caught the spirit of the word when he said that hagah means that a person "is lost in his religion".... Baron Friedrich von Hugel compared this way of reading to "letting a very slowly dissolving lozenge melt imperceptibly in your mouth."
I love the idea of reading that way. The way we savor a mouth-watering meal, enjoying every bite. Why not take in God's Word that way? But not just that, how about so many things in this life? Time spent with loved ones, a favorite t.v. show or film, participation in a hobby? My life moves at such a fast pace, I just want to make sure that I am slowing down enough to savor the blessings.

Things I have savored lately:
  • Season 1 of Gray's Anatomy on DVD (thanks, roomie!).
  • An awesome song I heard yesterday. I just wanted it to keep going. There was a point in the song where chorus and verse were sung at the same time and it sounded so full of beauty and life.
  • The smell of jasmine blooming everywhere I seem to walk!


Anonymous said...

I heard Peterson speak once. He gave a series of lectures that I was privileged to hear. I really can't confess to being a huge fan of the Message, I just think it's so unpoetic, but I love hearing him speak and reading his other writing. Good good stuff.

Autumn's Mom said...

Sounds interesting. I confess I haven't read many books of this nature. I think the only thing I've read is Classic Critianity, which I liked. Used to listen to his radio program also. And the Purpose Driven Life. Used to cry through every chapter as the message washed over. I feel silly stating that. But there you have it.

Cherry said...

I know I've heard of this book, but I can't say exactly where.

I'm with you in trying to slow things down and savor every moment. My BF has been introducing me to the idea of being mindful in everything you do, and you really learn how to listen to yourself and the world around you.

Ally Bean said...

i'm intrigued with the idea that "meditate" can mean "growl." I'll have to start looking at life with a growl in my heart.

But can I be a leopard instead of a lion, please. I like their dots. ;-)