Monday, June 18, 2007

I hate to admit it but Friday morning I went out in search of a fix. I was off of work and exhausted, unmotivated to start the chores around the house that needed to be done and with a mind that was spinning out of control and not allowing any rest.

My typical fix is a book and at times I use it like a drug, to escape immediate reality and live outside of it for a while. I love to read and have since I was able to, it started with Dr. Suess and progressed through The Hardy Boys series into more adult literature (or at least writing as some of what I have read doesn't really qualify as literature), both Christian and secular. In college I even studied Herman Melville (thus the name of my dog) and Nathaniel Hawthorn and learned to appreciate, if not love their works (and yes, I've read Moby Dick at least 3 times and actually enjoyed it).

My favorite authors tend to be good at giving just enough detail that my brain fills in the voids, they aren't overly attentive to every little detail, especially those that have no real bearing on the story; those that bring me back to the very feelings I have known, smells I have smelled and emotions that have attended life events are also a draw for me. One of my current favorites is Charles Martin who incorporates his faith into his writing without hitting the reader over the head with it.

As I spent time looking I realized just how many other book junkies there are as I looked at the thousands of titles that are available. While reading can be a constructive use of time it can also be less than that, such as when we are using it to avoid living life and getting involved in the lives of others. I justify it by convincing myself (successfully) that it doesn't dumb me down like watching tv does - at least it isn't passive and requires our brains to function at a higher level.

One way I know when my "habit" is becoming a problem for me is when my time with these author's works is crowding out my time with my Savior and Lord. If I spend 2 or 3 hours reading yet can't find the time to spend in His word, work or prayer, then my "fix" has crossed the line into sin because I am letting it interfere with my relathionship with God. How can a story, even a good one be better than getting to know the Creator of the Universe better?

Enjoy your reading - turn off the tv and stimulate your mind - but do so in a healthy way and start with the Greatest Story Ever Told!


PS. Whitney just returned from a week as a camp counselor in Ohio and will be sharing soon. Brent, Deanna and Lauren are in the midst of training teams for the summer trips and will be leaving this Wednesday. Please continue praying for them, the teams and leadership as they prepare to go into the world and share Jesus. Also, please be praying for Lucile, the wonderful "Grandmother" to all of the Awe Star teams and staff who has been so instrumental in the life of that organization and in making it possible for Brent to join their ministry; currently she is hospitalized and, I understand, in a coma state. I will let you know more as I learn details.


At 4:01 PM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

Wow. How convicting for someone who would rather read than do almost anything else, and who works in a world of words. . .

AND how significant, especially for people like us, Brad, that: in the beginning was the WORD, and the Word was God, and the Word was with God!

I pray that all my words will draw others to the living Word--and that the words I read as well as the ones I write will have that very same effect.

Blessings on you--and thanks for "a word fitly spoken"! We are joining the many prayers for the leadership, the teams, and for Lucile,

in pink
with tender love,

and all the Piepers
2 in training at Awe Star University!

At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reminder. Just the other day I did the same thing. I went for a book to get a way from lifes problems. Books do tend to "take me away" for awhile. But, my problems do need to lay at the throne.
Thank you also for the writings and the updates.


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