Friday, March 21, 2014

Worn out Bibles

The family Bible in my house, as in many homes in the Bible Belt, was a massive book kept on the coffee table. My Mom recorded family events in it and occasionally I would thumb threw it, curious about the words but even more fascinated with the old illustrations. 

It said Holy Bible. It had a reverent feel to it even then.

This book was in no way falling apart. It was more of a decor choice, a statement that we were religious.

Fast forward to my high school years when God was working in my heart to surrender to his ministry-- You would find another version of the Bible in my home. This one was cheap, well used, and still new in book age, but worn with use. 

It represented the condition of my spiritual walk at that time.
  • New
  • Enthusiastic
  • Lack of depth
  • Committed
  • Awe

Many years later, during a time of my life where I put church, God, and spiritual matters on a back burner, simmering, not closed off, but still in the back of my mind, my marked up, worn bible was left on a car and after a mile, flew off into a ditch.

Yep, that was where my milk-toast spiritual walk was heading, in a ditch. I still have that bible, and its state of use was from my past. The lackadaisical use of the Word was represented by my carelessness. That Bible was ruined for further use except to remind me of the time in my life when I was closer to God. I put it on a shelf in my closet. 

I purchased a new Bible at that time because everyone needs their own Bible. Right? Just like in the 60's, in a Southern home, you needed a Family Bible. Just because I wasn't breaking it open, didn't mean I wasn't suppose to have one.

In its new state the new Bible remained in pristine condition for a several years while my life's priorities took precedent over spiritual needs. 

Thankfully, my life did not end up in the tall grass and mud of a ditch because God continued to steer me, draw me back to His arms and I found my way to using that Bible.

My kids in this world where newfangled technology replaces print with gadgets are not exposed to aging, precious written words like we had in the 'good ol days'.  

I have held in my hands many antique, worn-out Bibles from precious individuals who treasured the Word, kept it close, and believed it to be the very words that God was speaking to them.

"A Bible that's falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't." Charles Spurgeon

Recently, I noticed my Bible was in good shape, housed in a fancy book cover and hardly ever written in because I usually take notes on other paper. After all, I paid a lot of bucks for this book and want to use it for a long time.

However, I am beginning to rethink the protection of my Bible, just because I need it to last but instead, I am beginning to invest in reconditioning it by wearing it out, writing my notes, using it often, and treasuring all the words within by trying to live them.