I like books

I like books. No… I mean I REALLY like books. But don’t take my word for it… my wife will concur with a quick and hearty “AMEN!”

I hope books never go away. And while I am a big fan of e-books, I probably prefer the real deal even more. Heavy… hard… inky and papery books.

Some might think books are old-fashioned. They take up space. They take up time. They make you think. They don’t wrap up the mystery in 30 or 60 minutes. They ask you to make an investment.

But see, that is exactly WHY I like books.

We live in an age today that places an extremely high value on speed and volume. We want more and we want it FAST! Whether we are talking about our food, our entertainment, our information, or even our relationships… More is better… faster is better.

Books defy MORE and FASTER. We can only read one word at a time. We read one page, and then the next, and then the next. Every book we open represents a journey that we are invited into… to follow step by step.

I will admit that I regularly get frustrated while reading a book. Sometimes it doesn’t move as fast as I want it to. Sometimes – and this is especially true of theological books – the content they are trying to communicate is so thick and complex that I occasionally have to read the same sentence two or three times before the meaning finally sinks in.

The point is, I am convinced that the sheer exertion (is that the right word?) involved in taking the journey of reading a book helps create the value of the experience. To expand that same point to the world beyond books, it is really not too much of a stretch to say that the things we have to work for have a way of becoming more valuable to us.

And in many ways this phenomenon also applies to our journey in the spirit. I don’t know too many people who wouldn’t love to pop a pill or stand in front of a machine and then open our eyes to find ourselves mentally and spiritually transformed into DEEPLY COMMITTED CHRISTIANS. With the snap of a finger! But it just doesn’t work that way.

That is not to say that people don’t experience instantaneous spiritual awakenings. It happens all the time! But it always comes down to the question of how we will live our regular, daily, routine, everyday lives… even in the aftermath of an instantaneous spiritual awakening.

What can I say? It’s a journey! And it is a journey worth taking.

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