Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bookmarks and Shortcuts

My day job is in a 'deadline driven' industry. Our employees are encouraged to perform their responsibilities as quickly and accurately as possible. To help them do so, we teach them 'shortcuts'. Shortcuts are keystrokes on the PC that allow them to do something quicker.

You may use shortcuts if you use any Microsoft product. For example, pressing the Ctrl key and the letter A at the same time (also known as 'control-A') will select all the text in the active window. You could also select all the displayed text by removing your hand from the keyboard, grabbing the mouse, moving the cursor to the top of the page, clicking and holding the left mouse key, and dragging to cursor to the bottom. Obviously 'control-A' is quicker.

In my day job we also encourage our employees to 'bookmark' websites that they use regularly (or should use regularly). When the bookmarks are set, the user simply types 'Alt-A' and then types the first letter of the website (or uses the arrow keys to move down the list) until the desired site is selected. Without bookmarks, the user would have to type the entire URL into the address line of the browser. Or use Google.com to find the website again...which takes more time and can lead to distractions when another website catches your eye.

Bookmarks and shortcuts get the job done much faster. And in our industry that is a good thing.

In my Bible, I have several bookmarks. I use them to help me quickly find a passage that I want to remember within the next few days. When I use my bookmarks, I go directly to the passage I'm looking for without getting distracted by other passages that catch my eye.

In our spiritual lives we often try to use shortcuts to get to where we want to be faster. We think that we can find a nice formula to spiritual success (Prayer plus living right equals no problems/easy life). We don't want to 'walk through the valley of the shadow of death' on our way to spiritual maturity. We want to bypass or shortcut any trials that make us stronger. We want instant spiritual muscles!

Another example of a spiritual shortcut is when we use a daily devotional book to get a 'quick fix' of spiritual food without actually opening the Word and reading the related passages to see what our Loving Lord my be trying to teach us that day.

Using bookmarks in the Word or shortcuts like devotionals can help us. There is nothing wrong with using them. Sometimes perhaps oft times, however, we need to set aside the bookmarks and shortcuts and dig a little deeper. We need to get out the concordance and find the other related passages. We need to set aside time to read an entire chapter or entire book not just the one verse associated with the devotional.

This week will you choose to set aside the bookmarks and shortcuts and see what distractions you can find within the Word? See what catches your eye as you read scriptures that you have not read or not read in a while?

1 Chronicles 28:8 (The Message) And now, in this public place, all Israel looking on and God listening in, as God's people, obey and study every last one of the commandments of your God so that you can make the most of living in this good land and pass it on intact to your children, insuring a good future.

No comments: