One day this past week …
I had a couple of hours to work on the computer and wanted something playing in the background. Noise. Something that would keep my mind obviously engaged, but nothing intrusive or distracting. I went to www.MyNW.com and tuned into a local online radio broadcast of the Seattle Mariners playing some team. From somewhere.
It was enjoyable and very reminiscent of the past when the only way to hear a game was a radio broadcast. Yes. I owned a portable transistor radio, and I remember working with dad to make a crystal radio, but the radio I remember the most was owned by both sets of Grandparents and looked similar to the very first picture.
A clock/alarm radio was my personal radio when I hit the teen years…and I remember scaring mom one night when she came to turn it off and I was not really asleep… Hmmm… First gray hair?
When did we migrate from listening to watching? It seems the only way many know how to enjoy a broadcast is visually. No more do they have to think through the rapid flow of the game, they just watch, and re-watch the visual replays. It seems we’ve lost that ability to listen.
Then consider social media. We’ve all become expert typists! I feel like we’ve lost the ability to have verbal dialogue. We type the first thing we think and it is often ill considered and can easily be abusive.
We are rapidly losing our ability to reason through hearing, and reading material, and conversing through the details… We want the “brief” that comes from visual programming where another takes away our ability to paint the image in or minds via the story. Just like listening to that ball game, I place the game in mind, the field being played on, the color narrative, the blow by blow play of the the game around the diamond. When we learn new details, we simply pencil them into our mental version of what we’ve read and heard, colorize them as we imagine them, and repaint the final blend. We don’t miss a beat.
This is why I like to read first, hear second, watch third. I engage my mind from the “git go” as I read. When I listen, it’s with a mind already geared to the subject (I’ve played, listened, watched and attended baseball games for years. I know what’s going on!). If the opportunity avails itself to watch, then listening to the announcer becomes secondary, and I never have to read the story – because I’m watching what I already know.
I will be the first to say there is no way any visual programming can do justice to what I read, or what I hear. My mind has an internal visual imagery unmatched by visual technology. My eyes and ears convey what I read and hear into an image that meets my ability to comprehend. When you watch then you are stuck with the end results of another persons analysis. That can stink!
When you read you have to digest the material, consider it’s impact, and file away accordingly. There is no way you can do this quickly when visually paying attention to something. Often this means stepping back from the material, reflecting, contemplating and researching, considering facts, discarding the non-necessary things, and noting the missing elements or the unfinished material that will complete the mental image.
Only then are we prepared to act!
Scripture tells us of a time when there were no visual programming to show how to live. And, it was probably a time when most did not know how to read, must less own something that could be read as we easily acquire today. Most of a persons knowledge of God’s Word came as a result of “hearing”. They became auditory learners.
There was a particular time when Josiah became King (2 Chronicles 34) at the tender age of eight. His first focus was returning Israel to God. Destroying the facilitation of prior kings that led Israel astray. When he was 26 years old, 18 years into his reign, he finally turned his attention to cleaning up the “house of God.” Faithfully the workers rebuilt all that was damaged and destroyed and begin digging out all the wrought work making it suitable to be used.
Then Hilkiah found a book of the law of the Lord given by Moses. He passed it to Shaphan, who delivered it to King Josiah, and read it before the King. When Josiah heard the Law of God, he became shaken and tore his clothes as an act of contrition. God said to read it to the people, and they did…
The king went up to the house of the LORD, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem—the priests and the Levites, and all the people, great and small. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of the LORD. (2 Chronicles 34:30 NKJV)
The entire nation changed from their old ways and adapted to the Law of God. All because they read God’s Word, and those who could not read listened to the reading.
When is the last time you changed due to something you read, or listened to? Not what you saw on some visual platform. You listened. You read. You sorted out the results of what you ingested with your mind and realized something had to change!
I challenge you to turn off visual distractions, grab a book, even the Word of God, and spend time reading and contemplating what you are taking in… Use your mind! Think it through! Get to know what you should know and refuse to spend your time watching only.
If your eyes do not work, then find an audible version. You will probably enjoy it greatly.
There is power to acquiring a deeper understanding of what you read and hear, than simply watching another version on the visual platform… Trust me. Don’t watch until you can read it…You will understand it more deeply than that person who watches only…