I don’t like to read books. There, I said it. I’m not exactly sure what it is about them that turns me away, but I just can’t seem to bring myself to pick up the habit. My ENTIRE family seems to love them. My dad reads books like people eat meals. My grandfather was the editor-in-chief of a highly successful and well-known local newspaper, so we know that guy loved him some reading too. My uncle, collects old books just so he can read them during his free time. Stepdad? Book reader. Mom? She likes her some good old fashioned Christian living each morning. So there is more than a twinge of guilt that comes into play when I admit, they’re just not really my thing.
Lucky for me then, that the “book” I read most often, and the one that I use for work, isn’t really a book at all. Instead, it’s more of a historical collaboration, filled with self-help information, correspondence between friends, and the defining documents on the nature of humanity, the reality of a spiritual existence, and the hope for all mankind. That, I seem to be able to get myself geeked up about.
I am of course, speaking about the Bible. Maybe you’ve heard of it? It continues to be the most purchased and sought after “book” of all time. Every time I hear or read that, I still think it’s weird that a book that helps define a religion so controversial and looked down on at times, continues to be a top-seller. You’d be safe to assume that it’s because the author has so many fans, people who appreciate His work – but it’s fair to say that He also has His fair share of critics, and people who aren’t to fond of Him or His work. Either way, for a multitude of reasons, it seems the majority of people are still interested in what He has to say.
At first glance, it’s certainly strange to think that it took over 40 people and some 1,600 years to write down all that God wanted us to know about Himself, our world, each other, and most importantly the life of His Son. With the capability to perform miracles at His fingertips, perhaps there was a more streamlined process available? But I don’t think EFFICIENCY was His goal. Instead I think God was more interested in telling His own story through the eyes and words of specific people during precisely planned moments and happenings in history, to give us the most complete and total picture of His involvement in our world.
And so to author some parts He chose shepherds, & for others, fishermen. A few books were written by religious zealots, while another was written by a doctor/historian. There’s a whole book of songs written by a king, right alongside a book of life advice written by a guy who ultimately chose not to follow most of it. There’s letters written between friends about how to be a better Christian, and commands given on stone tablets straight from the hand of God Himself. Talk about a conglomeration. God chose incredibly different people, genres, and forms to compile the totality of what He wants us to use to understand who He is, and how that affects and applies to us. After all, variety is the spice of life.
I don’t like to read books and I don’t do it as often as I should. That’s probably true for my Bible as well. I sometimes wonder if I didn’t have to read it for my job, would I spend much time reading it at all? But hypotheticals are just that, and the truth is, I read my Bible almost every single day. And as I do, an amazing thing has happened, it speaks to me – almost as though it’s alive – and it changes my life. It helps me answer the hardest questions of life, and find peace, contentment and hope, in places I would never have thought to find them. It truly is a better kind of book. The kind that when you pick it up and fully dive in, you struggle to put down. The greatest and most important story ever told, all through the words of plain people, just like you and me. I’m not much for books, but if ever there was one worth powering through, this one is it. If I can do it, so can you. Won’t you try it with me?