WHY I READ.
I believe, echoing Oscar Wilde’s famous quote on drinking, that work is the curse of the reading class. I like to read. Everything. All of the time. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. There is something that about the page, whether book, magazine, or computer screen, that draws my attention, piques my imagination, and opens my world. It was not always so.
I remember the first book that I actually read. Fourth grade. Zip Zip and His Flying Saucer. I don’t remember anything about this little book besides that there was a Zip Zip and he had a flying saucer, and that I read it. Amazingly I just checked Amazon Books and, yea verily, there it was—written in 1956 by John M. Schealer, and is offered at the price of one thousand six hundred forty-one dollars and forty-three cents in the Japanese edition. A real steal if you can read Japanese.
Zip Zip must have been a gateway drug because within a year I had exhausted the children’s section of our little local library and my mother signed for me an adult library card. I was in the fifth grade. The genteel librarian warned my mother that I might read inappropriate things, but my mother, being a free range mom, assured her that I would be okay. And they were both right. I read wildly inappropriate things and I was then, and am now, still okay. That was and is because I know the difference between fiction and non-fiction. A distinction that many would do well to learn these days.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I want you to read. Someone said, “Readers are leaders.” If you’re going to live a successful life you have to have the knowledge to succeed, an awareness of what hasn’t succeeded, and sufficient imagination to set goals. Goals that will probably be based on what you’ve read. If you’ve read the right stuff. Shameless plug—like my blogs and books.
What are you reading? That was the question that the late great Russell Archer asked of the Open Bible Fellowship ministers at every district meeting that he oversaw as the Eastern Region Director. I was in that organization for a time principally because Dr. Archer was, not just in my opinion but in reality, a prime example of what a reasoned, intelligent Christian leader ought to be. He also dressed well. He didn’t ask privately, he asked publicly and then waited while everyone answered. He didn’t care what you were reading. Zane Grey was as good of an answer as Solzhenytsen. He just wanted everyone reading. I caught on early and always had some provocative theological book and a lurid fiction book to report. Because, (God rest his cowboy soul), there is more to read than Zane Grey. What are you reading?
Obviously you ought to be reading the Bible. But which one? There are dozens of translations. I take a bit of flack from my learned friends because I read the King James Version. I say that if it was good enough for Moses and Paul it’s good enough for me. I’m just practicing for heaven because we all know that God speaks KJV. (I trust that you know that the last two lines are hyperbole and lies.) I actually read the KJV because A) It’s what I began with back when we did believe that Moses and Paul spoke KJV and that KJV was the language of heaven, and B) because there are words in the KJV that you will find nowhere else. Words like hither and thither. But I’m not trying to convince you to read the KJV—read any version that speaks to you. They are all translations and inefficient by Divine Design. Did you catch that?
And there are a lot of other things that you should be reading. Your reading tastes may not be mine but there a books, periodicals, and websites that can help you to broaden your horizons, learn new things, speak to your interests, perfect your skills, and enhance your life.
When you join me “Behind The Door” I’m going to share some thoughts about reading. How to read. What I read. Why I read what I read. How to read the Bible with heart and understanding. Why for several years I stopped reading. And how God uses books that may not be especially spiritual to bring about spiritual things. It’s a good read.
If you have the password you can go “Behind The Door” right now. If you don’t have the password you need to hit the “Sowing” button and sow a seed of any amount and the you will immediately be directed to the password. The default setting is twenty dollars but you may raise that amount, (many do), or lower (if you must!) that amount. Either way the password is good for the rest of the month. BTW—“Behind The Door” is not archived so you have to read it now!