Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Morning Thanks--Worldly Wisdom II

I read Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali's memoir and tirade against her Islamic parents and past, and found it terribly interesting, it's major argument--that no good whatsoever can come from the Muslim world--immensely provocative. Mosque moving into town? To my mind, Ali, a sworn atheist, makes a better case for defiance than a ton of Christian circuit riders toting similar themes--and a heck of lot more sense than Rush.

I say all of that because a whole crowd of well-meaning Christians are of a mind to hate Muslims these days, and this little line of wonderful worldly wisdom comes from Morocco, which means the religious references are likely supplied by folks who pray to Muhammad. No matter. I think it's wonderfully wise.

"Slowness comes from God and quickness from the Devil."


Okay, maybe it's a hair simplistic; after all, if the house is burning, anybody with half a mind should probably tune into the Devil's promptings and get the heck out.

But I don't care. I like it anyway: "Slowness comes from God and quickness from the Devil."

Nicholas Carr has a new book out titled The Shallows. In it he argues that the internet is rendering us all quite incapable of reading in depth or sustaining a significant argument or thought. NPR's All Things Considered quotes from Carr's book this way: "'Neuroscientists and psychologists have discovered that, even as adults, our brains are very plastic.. . .They're very malleable, they adapt at the cellular level to whatever we happen to be doing. And so the more time we spend surfing, and skimming, and scanning ... the more adept we become at that mode of thinking.'"

There, see? The internet makes us quicker, but shallow as a driveway puddle. Quick is satanic--slow is Godly.

I suppose I need to admit the fact is that this old body of mine--these weak knees and this expanding paunch--isn't getting any quicker these days. Not long ago, I watched a student descend a huge stairway in the Campus Center in a dancing whirr of feet and speed I found absolutely astounding. I stood there aghast, trying to count on my fingers how many years it had been since I could pull off such a feat--and running out of fingers. Lately, in fact, I'm shocked at even how slow I eat. Shoot, these days I can't even think fast.

"Slowness comes from God and quickness from the devil."

I don't care. Pardon my prejudices, I still love the line--Islamic or not. And while I know I'm not being particularly Calvinistic when I say it, that sweet little Moroccan proverb just plain makes me feel good. So there.


Anonymous said...

I am of the opinion that the inability of the people in our nation to think critically will at some point in our history bring us crashing down as a nation. Perhaps it already has and we are just to "shallow" to realize it. God is both slow and thorough...and original....and not addicted to technology.

Dave Hornor said...

Hi, Mr. Schaap.

You once said something like, "There are things I can do in a story that a preacher can't do in a sermon."

I would enjoy reading more of your thoughts on that theme.


Dave Hornor