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(*** This picture is my wood-cut/block print of my favorite theologian Karl Barth, based on the last photograph of him alive.)

In the old days when there weren’t so many books, people would stay with a book for a long time. Then, people would sink into a book and live with it for a while. Now there is so much information available with so many authors that it seems impossible to stay in one place for very long. Now we read a book in a day or so and quickly skim on to the next.

I remember when I first met Thomas Merton, the famous Benedictine monk. I decided that I would spend the next long while sinking into his work. In fact, I spent years studying Merton to the point where I felt my spirit say, “I want to be like him.” The same with the theologian Karl Barth. The same with the mystic Krishnamurti. The same with the philosopher Zizek.

The result is that I think, in many ways, their spirit has soaked into mine. I may not be like any one of them. But they reside in my spirit. They have a home there. They live with me, and I with them. They leak out in who I am now and then.

I encourage you: rather than skimming along the surface of a myriad of influencers, to try sinking into one influencer for a while. A long while. Imbibe them into your spirit.

This might be the better way.