I think my 11 year old son believes everyone surely must have 17,000 books in their home. He has no memories of life without books in every nook and cranny of his surroundings. As much as he enjoys them, I think he takes them for granted. Our conversation yesterday insinuated that anyway.
As I was reshelving hundreds of books from library day and a huge book shopping trip, my son asked, "Momma, why do we need so many books? Don't you think you have enough? Why is this so important?"
I stood up, looked him in the eye and replied, "Because God gave us a Book."
Our culture, as I have lamented here many times, has come to disregard the written word, trading it for images on a screen, not only for their shallow knowledge, but their relationships as well. Reading of any kind is fast becoming obsolete, inefficient, boring, irrelevant...the list goes on.
But God, in His infinite wisdom, chose to communicate to us through a Book. The Bible is all we need for life and godliness. The Word of God is living. We are not to worship Him through images. Yet when we refuse to engage in the most important activity that brings us closer to Him, reading His Word, prefering instead images on a screen, we are really saying we do not want to know Him.
There is not a single volume in my library that begins to compare with God's own Words. None of them offer words of eternal life. However, God is working in and through man and He derives glory from what we do. Great words penned by great minds can speak to us, encourage us, challenge us and equip us. We can learn about God's work throughout history by reading biographies, historical fiction, original source documents. We marvel at His hand in the universe by studying living science books. Fiction is a profound way to experience life situations played out in the made-up lives of others. And most importantly, we practice the skill of meditating and ruminating as we linger over the pages of beloved treasures. We are deceiving ourselves when we believe we can rewire our brains by immersing ourselves for hours a day in front of a screen, then magically be able to think deeply on the Word of God. Science is discovering the implications of this habit. We must consider the consequences of our actions.
Reading is hard work. Getting to know others is hard work. Yet we are commanded to come to Him through His Word and KNOW Him. Will we obey?