From time to time in this space, WestBow Press publishes brief accounts, written by our authors, about how self-publishing their books has affected their lives. The following are the words of Mark Eckel, author of “I Just Need Time to Think!” and Professor of Leadership, Education & Discipleship at Capital Seminary & Graduate School, Washington, D.C.
One of my students said what I often hear. Life, and education, is moving too fast.
People who care to take their time to study hate to be rushed.
My motivation to write I Just Need Time to Think! is inspired by classes who love to ponder, meditate, contemplate, and deliberate over their studies.
The book’s subtitle is just as important: Reflective Study as Christian Practice. For years I have utilized the Hebraic concept of selah to encourage reflection with my students. Selah is a word that appears often in the Psalms. I wanted students to stop, think, and consider.
Instead of requiring hundreds of pages, students were asked to read forty, musing over ideas. I wanted question, stimulation, tension, or compare-contrast. I wanted students to agree or disagree with me.
“I had never thought of that before” or “This idea bothered me” or “The page prompted me to write” were introductory clauses which made me smile.
What we reflect upon shows what is valuable to us. I value time. I want my students to take it as they study. I want to give them an interlude. Pause for thought. Take a break. Take a minute. Take a breath.
My job as a professor is to help my students succeed. Students succeed when they do well in their studies. Doing well in studies takes time. I believe time for reflection values my students, their time, and their study of God’s Word and His world.
The same student who wanted time to think gave me a Christmas present that year. He created a metal sign with a phrase I repeat constantly. But what he wrote on the back of the sign was most important.
“I enjoy not only your teaching style but the time you give us to learn.”
Connect with Mark on his website www.warpandwoof.org; and through Twitter (@MarkEckel) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/mark.eckel.92).
WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-500 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books, are invited to do so by sending a message through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WestBowPress, by tweeting us @westbowpress, or by emailing kgray@ westbowpress.com. We may not be able to use every story, but we will read and consider them. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar and punctuation accuracy; as well as for space.