Recently, I had a few days to read a book. I am certain that this does not sound like a cause for celebration but for me, in its own way, it truly was. Before graduating from seminary I was an avid movie buff and passionate reader.
While I could pass on certain action films, (I fell asleep in the theatre both times I attempted to see the last Spider Man installment) there was rarely a comedy, love story, drama or horror film that I missed. I found time to get lost in the storylines of books that took place in lands that I had never explored personally.
Carrying a book with me was a welcome diversion to traffic jams and long lines in the store. I especially remember enjoying Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden long before it was made into a cinematic production. Films and books were a safe way to escape, for a moment, into a less stressful world.
As I began to matriculate through seminary and I found that reading became a job rather than a passion. I began to hate to do the very thing I had loved so much, so deeply and for so long just a few years before.
I would stay current on events through the newspaper and magazines but I no longer longed for the opportunity to curl up with a book. I was now surrounded by books day and night.
My life had been seemingly taken over by books I had not selected. There were some awesome ministry enhancing books, yet truth be told there were also mounds of books by authors I did not agree with, books that felt like a waste of money, books that had more pages than wisdom and books that were so theologically off base they challenged me to write my own.
The demands of attending seminary in another state, especially while working eliminated the time available to see movies and entire seasons would come and go without so much as one viewing.
After graduating I was exhausted mentally and emotionally and all I wanted to do is NOT read a book and get on with life. So here I sat, several hours from home, having intentionally left my laptop behind so that I could be full present in the moment for which I had traveled and I had time to go to the bookstore.
I stood transfixed by the selection of books and I realized that it had been almost a decade since I had gone to this bookstore and did not make a beeline straight to the religion or education sections. I had not selected a leisure reading book in so long I had to stand there and decided what exactly I wanted to read for entertainment.
After some time it came to me that I was interested in reading Maya Angelou’s book, A Letter to My Daughter. Since she never had a daughter I was curious to see the wisdom she would impart to her “literary daughters.” I finished to book so fast I wanted to get another book right away.
The passion was back. I have been to the bookstore twice more in as many days, I am almost inclined to by an e-reader, but I love the feel and smell of a good old fashion, tree killing book too much.
Many times life’s circumstances, whether good or bad dampen our passions. That place or relationship or hobby that we once could not be without has become a place of mixed emotions and inner conflict.
We have to rediscover our passion because the joy we left behind is still there, somewhere, if we are willing to fight past our “inner stuff” and find it. Where is your passion for good preaching, a good marriage or a good relationship with your children?
Where is your passion to take time for your own needs so that you can be accessible, mentally, emotionally and physically for those you give so freely of yourself to?
Where is your passion for the Word of God, not simply as a literary work, but as the reference of reconciliation and redemption? If it wasn’t for lengthy forwarded emails how much Word would you really have in your life?
It’s time to pause, pray, rediscover your passion and move to your place of victory.
Monday: Genesis 12
Tuesday: Proverbs 31
Wednesday: Psalm 120
Thursday: Psalm 112
Friday: Joshua 1
Saturday: Joshua 2
Sunday: Head to Church!