[Column] Read and Think

Read and Think

Written By Rev.Dr. Joshua Hong

Senior Pastor of Full Gospel Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.


Eugene Peterson, a renowned authority in the modern Christian spirituality, once said that reading, thinking, praying, and living are important. Of foremost importance in growth is reading. There is emphasis on reading the Word in the book of Deuteronomy of the Old Testament. The strength of Israelites is attributed to “reading” as well. The most fatal flaw of the culture lacking in reading is the disappearance of “thinking.”  Without reading, there is no thinking. 

Bill Gates is considered one of the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs and the greatest CEOs. While running Microsoft, he had a “thinking week”  every year. It is said during that time people had to cut off all contact and withdraw with a few books to a quiet place just to think. They concentrated on direction for Microsoft, its profit process, and areas of focus for the reminder of their lives. One of the decisions Bill Gates reached recently was to set up a charity. He has established The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to aid people afflicted with AIDS and famine and to build schools in the remote areas of the world. 

On a beautiful spring day, a blind girl was standing before Notre dame Cathedral in Paris. As she held a sign that read, “ I can’t see. Help me please,” tourists nonchalantly passed by her after a brief glance without dropping money on the plate before her. Suddenly, a man came up to her and asked, “Could you please had me the sign?” He wrote something on the sign she handed over and gave it back to her.

Something astonishing happened afterwards. From then on, the people who pass by dropped money on her plate. Some approached her and encouraged her, “Cheer up.”

Later, the girl got a hold of the man who wrote on her sign and asked him, “ What did you exactly write on the sign? It must be something magical to have attracted money from so many people.” The man said, “I just wrote ‘I cannot see a beautiful spring day you enjoy.’” He was a French poet Roger Caillois. The sign she held, “I cannot see. Help me please” is the transmission of information on the simplest level. However, “I cannot see a beautiful spring day you enjoy” is the power arising from the appeal to emotion. We have to read and think. That way we can grow as the servants who realize God’s visions. I wish all of you success in reading and thinking.

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