I am 34. I have been reading the Bible pretty much every day for over 22 years. But I didn’t always read it the way that I read it now.
My dad is a high school art teacher—so growing up he, myself, and my kid brother all rode to and from school together every day. It was a cherished routine chocked full of memories. One of the constants from that season of life was a nearly daily stop at an automotive parts store managed by my uncle.
My brother and I would grab a stool and settle in for what was sure to be a long stop, my dad loves to talk. And my wonderful aunt who often helped around the store would inevitably strike up conversation with my brother and I. The talk almost always turned quickly to the Word of God.
“Nathan, you been reading your bible?” She would ask in her dearest friendly voice.
“Yes ma’am!” I would fire right back. But I hadn’t been. At least not like she meant. She wanted to know if I had actually been trying to read and understand it on a regular basis.
True enough I had a bible. It was an old school style King James Bible complete with all of the thee’s, thou’s, shouldests, and such. It also had a handy zipper and nifty little portrait of some Caucasian guy (presumably Christ) holding a sheep on the cover.
I would unzip it and thumb through its pages on occasion, but not with any real desire or intentionality. But my aunt kept asking, and I kept pretty much lying about it.
I started feeling bad about it. I mean even an 11 year old knows you shouldn’t lie about reading the Bible. So I stopped lying about it. My answer didn’t change. I still told my aunt that I had been reading, but from that point on it was the truth.
What began as an attempt to assuage my guilt and dodge a difficult question transformed into a daily habit which has since directed the course of my entire adult life.
The Bible is more than book (actually it’s a library.) It is bigger than the sum of our collective moral posturing. It is more powerful than the poets, prophets, statesmen, and martyrs who penned its many truths. It is not to be worshipped, though it is meant to be a spotlight that shines on the recipient of all our adoration.
And you will get out of it in direct proportion to the attitude accompanying your heart when at last you arrive at the border of its pages and paragraphs.
Because it is full of information but it also full of so much more.
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