"Till I come, give attention to reading"
1 Timothy 4:13
I'm reading a new book today. You know why? Because I finished a book yesterday.
Finishing a book brings up conflicting emotions in me. Often I'm disappointed that the book is ended, particularly if I'm enjoying it, which is most of the time because if I weren't enjoying it, I would have stopped reading it.
Occasionally I do read to the end of a book I'm not enjoying. Maybe it's because one of my kids is reading it for school and I want to be able to discuss it with them. Or maybe I've been vacillating the whole book, trying to decide if it's worthy of finishing, so then I read a little farther, and pretty soon I'm near the end so I just stick it out. But most of the time, if I'm not enjoying a book by about 1/3 of the way in, I give up.
But I digress.
The other emotion I feel when I finish a book, is anticipation. Generally I have several books in my waiting-to-be read pile, and I love that delicious feeling of "what shall I read next?" Anticipation is a great feeling, isn't it?
Anyhow, I started reading a new book today. It's called One Man's Meat, and it's a book of essays by E.B. White. Who knew E.B. White wrote anything but children's books? Fascinating. I bought it at a used book store near my house, because it looked like a "find". You know, something you had no idea existed, but is just perfect for you. And as soon as I got a couple pages in, I knew I was gonna love it.
I'm only about 20 pages or so into it, but I'm surprised already at how intriguing it is to me. It was written in the late 1930s and early 1940s, so a lot of the subjects are a little old-fashioned to me, but that's good. That means I'm learning something new. He wrote about the coming war (he didn't know it was coming, of course, but he knew that what was going on in Europe did not bode well.) And there was a piece about Pullman cars, and another one about how William Jennings Bryan had allergies. Fascinating. But I never would have thought there'd be anything really inspirational or thought-provoking about such subjects. And yet, it's got me thinking.
I love a book ~ or a poem or a song or a sermon ~ that makes me think. I love when I can feel my mind or my imagination being stimulated. It causes me to explore and analyze new ideas... and new approaches to old ideas.
It made me think of a quote I read years ago, about Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. I think I've shared it before, but I'm thinkin' it again, so you get to hear it again. A fan of his said, "I always had the same reaction, even up to the last time I heard him play ~ that I just wanted to run home and pick up my cello." This is how I judge a book or a sermon... Does it make me think? Does it make me want to write... This book does.
There are certain books of the Bible that have the same effect on me, and it has changed over the years. Sometimes it's been a book, or a portion of a book that is less familiar to me. Other times it has been sitting down to read a book I love, and finding that I'm not just reading, I'm studying. Or maybe I'll be reading a book, and start wondering about the person I'm reading about, like Philip, or Caleb, and find myself cross-referencing, out of curiosity.
Learning leads to learning. Wondering leads to knowledge. He lays out the path, and sparks our interest, and then all we have to do is follow. Curiosity, ho!
~ "It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes." ~
Answers to yesterday's quiz:
1. d (Genesis 20)
2. c (Genesis 37)
3. b (1 Kings 19)
4. c (1 Samuel 25)
5. d (Matthew 8)
6. d (John 9)
7. d (Genesis 1)
8. d (Judges 14)
9. c (1 Samuel 17)
10. a (1 Samuel 17)