Mark Zuckerberg is starting a book club. I had to read that twice, too when I saw it on the Wired.com website. Last year he decided to learn Mandarin and this year he has decided to take up reading. Well, I am sure he reads, especially his Facebook newsfeed, thumbing his way through funny Buzzfeed lists, amazing recipes and political rants like the rest of us. But this year, he really wants to read, like, books and stuff.
Zuckerberg said that he wanted to start reading more books, as opposed to other forms of media for a very simple reason: “Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I’m looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books.” I think that’s a sentiment we don’t see very often in our day; the desire to go deep into a topic. I mean, I write for a living and I’ll be the first to tell you that if your status update is longer than a couple sentences, I give up and scroll on. We live in a shallow world; if it’s not right there on the surface, forget it, too much work.
Our little church has been working our way through the book of Daniel and last week we discussed chapter 7. The first six chapters of Daniel are pretty straight forward: Daniel interpreting dreams, fiery furnaces, lion’s dens, hands writing on the walls. Chapter 7 though is where it starts to get a bit weird: Daniel has a vision, a dream about the future. He is confused, bothered and upset by what he sees: a lion with wings, a bear chomping down on some ribs, a four-headed leopard and some monstrosity with ten horns, one of which is really nasty. I mean, that’s a crazy dream, right?
To be honest, when I come to those passages in Scripture I just keep thumbing down, thinking “I have no idea what this is all about, so let’s keep moving on.” But this was not Daniel’s attitude. The text tells us that he was “thinking about the horns” and “[he] approached one of those standing there and asked him about the true meaning of all this” because he “wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast.”
It strikes me that Daniel is so inquisitive. He is not content to sit and just watch and then move on: he wants to know what is happening, what is the meaning of the vision. Eventually he discovers some pretty important things about the future, the end of times that he would have missed had he not dug just a little deeper.
And so like Zuckerberg, I am thinking of starting a book club, because I think I need to spend more time studying, considering and pondering some of the deeper mysteries, the unknown, below the surface things of God.