Posted by: howvoicebegan | 27/04/2011

Have You Read These Books?

It was quite some time ago that some of the children came over to my house. I frequently had them over during the summer for swimming and had them all on a rotating shift.

I may not have a book shelf, but the floor still displays my small collection nicely.

On one of these visits to my house, a boy noticed my books and looked through my collection. He picked up my Anatomy and Physiology book. “If I tried to read this, it would take me… 10 years!” he guessed. He picked up another book. “And this one would take me 5 years!”
Turning to me with the thick Anatomy book still in hand, he asked, “Have you read this book?” I laughed a little and said, “Actually, yes, I have. I read that whole thing in 20 weeks.” A&P is quite a rigorous and detailed course, requiring a reading of every sentence for perfectionists like myself.
He picked up another book. “And this one?” I said, “Yes, I’ve read that whole book, too.” Before he quizzed me on my entire book collection, I filled in for him, “I’ve read almost every single page you see in front of you.”

He wasn’t quite done, though. He picked out another book, seemingly randomly. The Bible. “Have you read all of this one?”

Ahem. I’d like to testify that God uses children for his “still, small voice” at times.

Of all the books in my current collection, I’ve been exposed to the Bible for the longest–approximately 23 years, or about 18 reading years. And yet I answered, “Um, no. Sadly, I have not read that whole book.” Suddenly my feats of reading A&P and cookbooks and dozens of books about the Bible seemed so… pointless.

Why is it so easy to devour thousands– tens of thousands, likely more– of pages over a lifetime, yet to pick up the Bible is something I say, “I’ll do that tomorrow.” Why is it a “challenge” to read 1500 pages in one year when I read Gone With the Wind, a 900-something page book, in 10 days? I felt so proud of myself for reading all of those books in my collection, yet the only Book that really matters I’ve managed to read about two-thirds of it, spanning over 2 decades.

And the reality is, it’s The Bible. The Word of God. And, with a spiritual realm involved in attempting to persuade either to close the Bible, of course it faces more resistance than books on people who never existed or the very exciting life of a cell.

But, it’s not just a matter of books we’ve read or haven’t read. It’s not a matter that we are told or convince ourselves about the daunting task of cracking open the Bible. It’s also about everything else in life we do that seems so good and so productive, but in the end it so pointless compared to what really matters. Some of us will build our lives and our works on precious metals, and others on wood or hay. In the end, our works are tested with fire, and those that were empty and without the right foundation (Jesus Christ) will be gone in the smoke, like the hay and wood. Those built on the right foundation will survive, just as gold and silver do (1 Corinthians 3:12-14, paraphrased).
My books, although very good materials and can certainly be used to glorify God, are just wood and hay. They may last on this earth, but not before God. But, the foundation of knowledge and wisdom from God’s word will last, like gold and silver.

My fellow book-devouring fiends– let’s challenge ourselves. Let’s crack open that big, wise, deep, convicting, challenging Book that will draw us closer to the only one who matters in the end. Let’s put down our side projects of fiction or non-fiction, as good or helpful as they may be, and embark on reading some words from God himself. It’s time to stop this nonsense of, “But the Bible is so looooong,” and put it in context of the countless pages of other material we have somehow found time to read.

Who’s with me? If not, I’ve got a lonely Basic Medical Biochemistry book on hand….



  1. I am an avid reader myself..even though it has slacked off a little bit bc of my school and workload.:)


    • I always manage to find time to read, even if it’s just the box of cereal while I’m eating breakfast in the morning!

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