Reading a book like I follow a recipe

I am not a very good chef.  I tend to rely heavily on recipes.  You may be the same.

The thing about the way I cook is that I read the recipe and then do what it tells me to do.  Usually it turns out well, but there is a problem with that process.  When I do this, I do not pay attention to what I am reading.  I am reading "one cup of oil" and then I measure one cup of oil.  I do not, however, consider how much one cup of oil looks like in the pan.  I do not assess if I ought to add more/less oil because of my diet.  I just measure and pour.

So the next time I cook, either that recipe or another, I still have to measure out one cup of oil each time.  This slows my cooking process down, uses more dishes to measure and ensures that I will spend more time and resources cleaning up the mess that I have made.  Rather, if I could integrate the one cup of oil into my mind, then I would not need to measure each time and I could focus on experimenting with other ingredients in the future.

But since I don't integrate that into my mind, I am limited to sticking to the recipe.

When all the cooking is over I then evaluate if I like the results.  I decide if I "like" or "dislike" the meal.  The focus is on the end results.  If I like it, then I will cook it again.  If not then that recipe is out the window.

I find that many times I read a book in the same way I read a recipe.

I read the information, I do not integrate it into my mind (so I constantly have to keep referring back to the recipe/book each time I want to recall it) and I am limited on what I can do with that information.  I cannot experiment with the content of the book because I am too busy evaluating if I like what the author said or disliked it.

I read a recipe and then I evaluate it.
I read a book and then I evaluate it.

I miss the critical step of integration!  I am quick to judge the content (or the end result) that I forget to integrate what I read into my mind for future experimentation.

If we read the Bible in such a way that we read for information then we evaluate it right away, we do not even give another voice the chance to influence our thoughts/actions.  We judge it as good/bad without considering if it actually has something to add to our lives.

Might we learn as a Church to move beyond reading just for information and evaluation and learn to read also for integration.

That is when we are really cooking.