My friend, Pat Sabiston, is a published author. We talk about books and the activities that go into and arise from such an endeavor. But often we talk about one particular book, The Bible. We both find God’s Word wonderfully inviting and revealing and we enjoy sharing what God shows us there and as we read our supplemental devotionals and observe other things in our day, those things are illuminated by the Bible’s principles, their topics often dovetailing in ways that make us marvel at God’s faithfulness, creativity, and intimacy in our lives.
I think this is one of the reasons God would have me never write a book…. I could add nothing to what He already has hidden in His Word for each of us to mine! Also, I’ve observed that, as Pat has said, most people won’t take the time to read a 10 page paper on a topic by an unknown “author”, unless it is something they have sought out and it addresses something particularly important to them, much less a book. Why would they read a book I would write? LOL! Books are special, as she and I know. It has seemed to me God often brought a book or author into my life when He was directing my attention to something specific, teaching me through the experience of others. If we just learned to rely on His Spirit and His Word, He could teach all of that to us directly instead of having to see life through the eyes, minds and experiences of others. The Bible contains great mystery, biographies, is a textbook on interpersonal relationships, is suspenseful and romantic, stirs hope and inspires…. Anything anyone could want. But it requires time spent with the Author to gain the most from it.
We are social animals and far too attached to the physical realm. So God inspires people to create words, music, and even pictures through which we can connect with the experiences of one another. Then, if we are attentive to God and His Word, as well, when we see those principles and topics in God’s great masterpiece text, we can actually connect more personally and intimately with Him, too.
We live in a world of quick turnaround, concisely edited, easily accessible communications. Instagram, Tweets, Facetime, Zoom, etc. If you can get the Wikipedia “cliff notes” or watch the movie, or listen to a podcast, why read the book? And so, we have been conditioned to view reading books as tedious, time consuming, necessary for extensive training in a subject, but not something to do just for the joy of what awaits within or as a conversation starter.
Reading the Bible is more like having a conversation with the God of the Universe who was active in every part of developing the content and bringing the finished text to market . Having the chance to interview and explore the creative mind and the heart behind it is an endlessly fascinating .adventure. He will be present, as the Author, to give the reader deeper insights into the characters, paint word pictures that leap off the page, stir your emotions, and broaden your mind.
I just love to share it with others! Even better, I love introducing others to the Author and helping them learn to mine its rich treasures in conversation with Him as we all enjoy companionship together. It is kind of a global Book club in which anyone may participate.