Friday, September 4, 2009

still looking at looking

I get a Christian quote in my inbox every day. This one has shown up twice and both times it bothered me a little. Since this came right on the heals of my last post, I wanted to talk about it.

Stop trying to compete with others. Give yourself to God and then be who you are without regard to what others think. Reduce your interests to a few. Don't try to know what will be of no service to you. Avoid the digest type of mind. Learn to pray inwardly every moment. Practice candor, childlike honesty, humility. Pray for a single eye. Read less, but more of what is important to your inner life. Call home your roving thoughts. Gaze on Christ with the eyes of your soul. Practice spiritual concentration.
--A. W. Tozer

"Stop trying to compete with others. Give yourself to God and then be who you are without regard to what others think."
This parts good. I've really been working on this. I'm not very competitive, but I am very comparative. And I definitely worry way too much about what others think. But not as much as before.

"Reduce your interests to a few. Don't try to know what will be of no service to you. Avoid the digest type of mind." I have trouble with this one. I am interested in a wide variety of things and I think that is part of who I am. So if I reduced those interests I would no longer be who I am without regard to what others think. I would be changing because of what A.W. thinks. And wise and godly as he may be, he's not necessarily always right.
At the same time that this troubles me, it appeals to me. Simplification always resonates with something in me.

"Learn to pray inwardly every moment." Yes. I would love to learn this--to live it. My mind is frequently in prayer, but certainly not every moment.

"Practice candor, childlike honesty, humility." Candor is good, if it's enveloped in love. Childlike honesty from an adult wouldn't go over very well, I think. But humility. Yes, humility needs a lot of practice.

"Pray for a single eye." I do. As mentioned in my last post, I want to have eyes only for God. I want to have a singleness of passion and devotion.

"Read less, but more of what is important to your inner life." Read less? This one definitely bothers me. I love to read. But I get his point. I think it's probably a good point. I'm just not sure I can do it. I do try to read things that are important for my inner life, though. Even the novels I read should touch me and stir some change in me. Not all of course, but most.

"Call home your roving thoughts." Is this possible? It would be nice, wouldn't it? "Come home! Come on you wandering little stinkers."

"Gaze on Christ with the eyes of your soul." What a beautiful line. That captures my desire. To gaze on Him and never be distracted.

"Practice spiritual concentration." The point of the whole thing. Bring it in. Sharpen. Concentrate. And practice. It takes intentional effort. We won't just focus on the right things by accident. And that's what all the other suggestions are about. Intention.


  1. I really enjoyed this blog. Good thoughts. The one quote that scared me: "Pray for a single eye." I took it literally and had a vision of a cyclops. "Oh God, please give me a single eye, right here in the middle of my forehead. Make it blue and pretty with long lashes. Thank you."

  2. "Avoid the digest type of mind." I love this one b/c if you have a digest type of mind, you know a little about a lot. Why not know a lot about a little. It does seem more productive.

    I want to write about everything. And, that makes me too fragmented. I need to focus on one or two things so I can really hone in my skills.

    Great stuff Kay.

  3. thanks, Kay. I needed that. Wonderful post ministered to me.

    "Practice candor, childlike honesty, humility."

    The key to this one is what St. Paul said - speak the truth in love (ePH 4:15). Without love, the truth can be cruel and brutal.


  4. The quote from Tozer definitely is thought provoking. Thanks for sharing it and for analyzing it in your own personal terms.

  5. I have a digest mind, too, Jan. I have so many interests.
    I know a little about a lot of things. I am an expert at trivia. I guess that isn't very productive is it?
    I think the main reason this quote disturbs me is because it is convicting.

  6. Kay, you didn't agree with everything that Tozer said and that is okay. As our Pastor says concerning reading of books, "eat the hay and spit out the stubble." There will always be things we don't agree with, but take the wisdom that is there and leave the rest. Of course when it comes to God's Word, embrace all of it, it tastes good and feels good, unless God is correcting you, then the feel good comes later.

  7. Gaze on the eyes of the soul.

    Great line. I love to do that when I am photographing someone. I hope I not only get a picture but the essence of who they are.

    Loved your post.

  8. You come from a family of digesters (so speak). I used to go to the library and find stuff about any old thing that caught my interest. My dad used to talk about a person being a "jack of all trades, but master of none." With doctors, it's a general practitioner who knows something about a lot of medical problems, and then the specialist who knows a lot about medical problems associated with one particular body system. I like to know a little about a lot of things. That way I won't be held accountable! :)


I love to hear your thoughts!