When I see the word 'takeaways' I think of the traditional Kiwi takeaway meals. Fish 'n' chips, pizza, burgers or something similar. Especially fish 'n' chips. That's iconic Kiwi. (If you're interested in what else is iconic Kiwi click here!)
Image from freeimages
Today I'm not talking about the edible kind of takeaways, however. I want to chat about spiritual takeaways. Spiritual food. Not actual physical edible food (as much as I love fish 'n' chips).
So what exactly do I mean? Let me explain.
I spent a week at a Bible camp for Christian homeschooled teens recently (Jumpstart, if you've heard of it). At one point, one of the people running it got up the front and told us how easy it is to listen to a sermon. To a devotion. To an inspirational talk. To anything, really; and to think to ourselves, "Oh, that's so wonderful/awesome/amazing/inspiring!" - and then to completely forget about what we just heard as soon as we leave the room.
I completely agree with him.
Information is constantly coming at us. Great stuff, often! Great blog posts, fantastic sermons, helpful lectures, Bible verses. How often do you see/hear/read any of those? All the time, I'm sure! I come across those all the time.
But what do I do with it?
How easy it is for all the great information and just all around useful stuff to go in one ear and out the other.
Hence what I call 'takeaways'.
It can be really helpful to think to yourself, when you hear something really good, "This is my little nugget!" and then hold on to that. Maybe write it on that little pad of paper you carry around with you (oh, you don't carry one? Well, perhaps you could consider changing that). Come back to it several times that day and ponder it. Think about what it means to you. Practically. In your life.
Like I said, there can be a lot of helpful stuff out there. But it's easy to listen to it and let it go in and then come straight back out again.
Change that. Don't let it happen!
In a 40 minute sermon packed full of great things, pick a little nugget and hold onto it. Don't try to hold onto everything you hear - it's humanly impossible!! Besides, what you don't remember immediately may come back to you later on in the week or even later than that. It will still be in your subconcious. Don't despair that you can't remember everything!
Don't let your fear of letting lots of great nuggets slip by undermine your ability to take away one great thing you could otherwise have taken away.
So, what am I trying to get at?
As you listen to something or read it, think to yourself, "What can I learn from this today?"
You'll find that simple question will change the way you take in information. You see, whether it's a fantastic sermon or something rather hopeless that you don't enjoy at all, you can still find something to help you, practically, right here, right now, in your life. So ask yourself that question. And you'll find it.
No matter what you're reading or listening to, you can find something helpful. So find it. And hold on to that nugget. Don't let a great opportunity to find a nugget slip past you!
Be teachable. Constantly look for things you can learn in all sorts of opportunities. And you will find them.
What kind of takeaway will you take away today?