It must have been in the 80’s
And you may remember it well. Those pictures that started showing up in mall concourses. You were invited to stare at them, lose focus, and you will see a picture inside a picture. The are called 3D Stereograms and eventually coffee table books started getting popular!
Some were good at seeing the other images. Not me. I struggled. Part of the problem was not trusting my eyes to not be sharply focused on the picture. I want to see everything, but if it required blurring my eyes, then can it be real?
We often find things revealed when we take the time to study it. Deeply. From every angle. With our eyes, minds fully engaged, or disengaged, as may be the case. Stretch ourselves to see the deeper image. Read through the image presented and get to the deeper or different dimension.
Did you ever struggle with seeing the story behind the story as espoused by that literature teacher from high school? You know, “What was the author really trying to say?” … I don’t know! It was a good story. And this is probably the crux of the matter. Most of us enjoy things at surface levels. We are not interested in looking beyond the words or image and attempting to see what the author really spoke about. Of course, Spark Notes, Cliff Notes, and now Wiki, can show us the summary of the work, with a deeper analysis, and maybe even what the story relates to in real life.
Back in the 90’s we were challenged to read the book of Acts of the Apostles everyday. Just 28 chapters and it would take a little bit over 2 hours. Since reading this much is not a stretch for me, I simply reordered my reading material and took on the challenge.
The first day I remember reading until I got to about Chapter 16. Something was happening in the story of the Acts that got my attention and caused me to dig deeper. I did not finish the book.
The second day, the same thing happened, only it was at Chapter 8. The third day was at chapter 2, and the fourth day was chapter 1.
I had read the book many times, and it was even the foundation for a bible quizzing group I belonged to back when I was 14 or 15. We dissected the book, memorizing passages, and even wrote up our own questions to practice by.
So, I was very familiar with the book!
But I learned something when the challenge went forth. There is something deeper to be found in everything I read, if I would just accept the challenge to find it!
In one of the gospels, Jesus utters a particular phrase that has been the basis for many years of searching.
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:39 KJV)
He tells men who make their living based upon their deeper knowledge of scripture. Search! To those who cannot even read or write. Search! To those of a time that do not have their bible easily available in their hands because they are documented in huge scrolls. Search!
This word is only used 6 times in the New Testament, and each time it has the same connotation. SEARCH. Inquire. Seek. Investigate.
From this foundation, and for many adult years, I have found myself to no longer be content with the high level understanding. I love to go deeper. Searching. Investigating. Seeking.
Maybe this is the problem with some today. You have been happy with the simple layer of images and words around you. There is so much more the deeper you dig in! Just as a well is dug to reach water … but is only found when you dig deeper…