“How fast are you supposed to read a holy book? It’s not as if you’re trying to discover who dun it, only how He did it, and that is a study which can take a very long time.”
Andrew Brown, The Guardian
The quotation above is from an article in The Guardian this week discussing the conversion of Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, to Islam. I haven’t been following the story, but apparently she’s received some criticism for having ‘only’ reached page 60 of the Qur’an. Devoutness, though, does not necessarily mean devouring your religion’s holy text as fast as possible. “I might,” Andrew continues, “think her more sincere if she announced she was still on page one after three months.”
Our culture is one of rush and hurry. Getting something done quickly is a sign of efficiency and good productivity. There are some things, though, which just take more time, care and attention than that. Vegetables grown at speed in industrial hothouses and flowers forced into bloom before their season never taste or smell as good as the home-grown variety, whose progress has been left, for the most part, to the timings of nature, directed by God.
If we want to grow and flourish, to be the best we can be, sometimes that will mean taking the long, slow route. The kind of holiness Jesus calls us to can’t be attained in a day, a few weeks or a crash course. It takes a lifetime.