“And what about your mind? Does it shine?”
- Jack Johnson, Gone
Most of us will spend our lives on the surface of things. We’ll go miles long but only inches deep. This is easy to do. I find myself doing it all the time. Checking Twitter instead of reading. Watching some Netflix instead of engaging in conversation with my wife.
And that’s how most of us go through life. We exercise our brains for work or school perhaps, but rarely for God.
Richard Foster refers to the dilemma in Celebration of Discipline,
“Superficiality is the curse of our age. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.” (emphasis added)
And he’s right.
Intelligence surrounds us. Knowledge is readily available to more people than ever in history.
Few people will choose to go miles deep and inches long.
But we need them to.
We need you to.
Because this age lacks wisdom. We lack those with deep biblical understandings that can speak truth into our lives.
Instead we tread lightly. We try to ignore books with deep insight that might exercise our minds or, even worse, our spirits. We try to shake the convicting sermons or messages because we know to truly listen would be to engage in actual change.
“Blah. Blah. Blah. How long will it take Jessica Simpson to lose the baby weight? Blah. Blah. Is Brangelina tying the knot just to upstage Jen and Justin? Will Kim drag Kanye down the aisle? Blah. Blah. Blah.“
I think the author of the column has a point:
“Yes, my head is filled with pathetically stupid thoughts about inconsequential people, and so, quite frankly, is yours. We are all in the same boat. And why on earth do we privilege the most superficial idiocies of popular culture over more substantial fare? The answer is simple: We have lost our fascination with accomplishment.“
We’ve given up our praise for accomplishment for mere fascination with the celebrity or the momentary.
Instead of allowing our minds to become pop-cultural sludge, we should be engaging in what Paul called the “renewing of our minds.” After all, it was Jesus who said in Matthew to
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Here are some ideas for how to start going deep in your life:
I repeated the last one three times for a reason: it is the most important. If you want to go deep, ask God to show you His wisdom recorded in the Bible. Ask Him for insight beyond what your mind is capable of. We have nothing to lose. As the Bible says in James,
"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
Do you find it hard to go deep in your life?