Alex Enabnit – Research Editor
Quickly! Look at a clock that keeps track of seconds. Did you see it? No? Okay, try again… How about this time? Pay really close attention to the second hand… Do you see it yet?
What you’re currently experiencing is life in what’s called, “real time.” Each second that ticks off on that clock passes at the same rate for me as it does for you. And this is the same with a minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade, and so on. We all experience this passing of time without the ability to accelerate or decelerate it, regardless of our desire to do both of those things! Now, before you say anything, I can already hear the counter argument: doesn’t time occasionally feel longer (like waiting in line) and other times feel shorter (like a vacation)? Well that’s a different story, something I can’t really tackle here, but the point is, regardless of our perception of events, we all experience the passage of time at the same rate. And I think that’s exactly why slow motion can be so fascinating!
In slow motion, a minute can become an hour, and a second can become a minute. Objects that move so quickly they blur our vision can be slowed to a crawl. It truly becomes like peering into another world! For example, I was recently watching a YouTube channel called “The Slow Mo Guys” (you should check out their channel… after you’re done reading this post, of course) and I came across one where they were lighting firecrackers underwater. My inner 8-year-old was already excited. But the magic happened when they slowed it down. Check this out:
In this video, the firecracker explodes in 1/100 of a second. It’s way too quick to see in real time. We get zero detail, just a boom and a flash of light. But when that 1/100 of a second is slowed down to ten seconds, details that would have never been seen in real time come to the surface: the shape of the explosion, the way the air bubble expands then contracts, and even that second flash of light right before the bubble collapses on itself. It’s not only mesmerizing, it’s enlightening! And these are all observations that would never be seen by the naked eye in real time. These are observations that can only be made in slow motion.
In my personal experience, I have found this comparable with my Bible reading. There are days that I just want to speed read a passage and get through it, usually when it’s one I’m really familiar with. I quickly skim the words, pick out the most important information, and move on with my day. Or sometimes if I’m tired enough I just end up reading the same paragraph over and over (especially if it’s those super boring genealogies!). Hopefully I’m not alone here!
The problem is, when I do this, I barely get anything out of the scripture… Other than checking a box that I technically “read” it. And the even bigger issue is that when I just breeze through those verses, I don’t retain what I’ve read all that well. It just goes in one ear and out the other, and that will never do me any good! So now I am working to shift my focus; maybe I’ve read a certain verse or story a bunch of times before, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing else I can get out of it. God’s Word is a well that never runs dry.
So rather than sprinting through passages, I have begun to slow down and really study what I’m reading. When I do this, I’m always amazed at the depth of scripture and the fresh insights I can gain every single read-through. And this “slowing down” can take different forms: sometimes this means slowing down and reading the commentary on my study Bible, sometimes it means actually reading slower. Sometimes it simply means reflecting on what I’ve read, or talking through it with others. No matter what, slowing down is an incredible tool!
We may not ever be able to slow down time itself, but when it comes to reading the Bible, there is a lot of value to slowing down our pace. What fresh insights would you pick up if you simply slowed down?Click here for the photo credit on this post