I’ve often thought of the books on my shelves as friends or at least old, familiar acquaintances. These books were companions in my life. It’s been difficult deciding which ones to keep and which ones to “recycle.”
And then there are the books that I keep close to me. They are literally on the shelves closest to my desk. These are the books with the covers worn off, their bindings coming loose and their pages full of my scribbling. They are books that mean so much to me that like an old and trusted friend I want to be aware of where they are, always. I’ll have to do some rearranging to make room for them by my desk at home.
Today as I’m staring at a lot of half-empty bookshelves and a lot of full boxes, I’m thinking about all the rearranging that has gone on in my life and how many of these old friends were a part of the changes and inspirations, the adjustments and the transformations of many of my thoughts and feelings and a few of my hopes; one or two even altered my dreams.
This of course includes all the authors of our scriptures; all 66 or however many actually wrote for the library we call the Bible and the Holy Spirit who inspired them all. I’m just now noticing that the shelf that has my Bibles is also closest to me. And I counted: I have 23 different Bibles…from different times in my life. What is that?
I’ve counted it a perk of my vocation to have the opportunity to become acquainted with so many different people through reading their work. And here is the thing; I also count it a privilege to read them in the context of preparing to bring them into your lives through these memos and sermons, our conversations and correspondence.
As I prepare to pack these guys up and take them home, I want you to remember that if I’ve said anything or sparked any interesting thought within you… I didn’t do any of it on my own… I have so many others standing behind me to whom I am forever grateful.
Keep the Faith,