Saturday, October 28, 2006

Reading is Fundamental

I love to read fiction novels. The first time I picked up a copy of Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness, I couldn’t put it down. I was totally fascinated with the whole concept of the book and it brought me to a place where I started to pray on a more regular basis. I know that his story was purely fiction, but it started me thinking about the power of prayer.

I find the same thing happening with another favorite author, Ted Dekker. His stories are totally fascinating. I started with his trilogy, Black, Red, and White. When I was reading the second one in the series I started to realize there was a problem. I had to read it whenever I wasn’t doing something I had to do like, eat, shower, work or sleep. I told my poor husband, “Sorry honey, but this house is not going to get cleaned until I finish the last book in the series. Please forgive me.” He understood and it didn’t bother him in the least because he was one book ahead of me and understood. So the house did get clean and boy did it need it.

I started to realize that I read very quickly. I devour books at record speed. I have to find out what happens next. I also have to confess that I’m one of those people who sometimes read ahead a bit because I can't stand the suspense. After reading this trilogy, I picked up every book written by Ted Dekker. Each one was totally awesome. His ideas are unique and outside the box of what mainstream Christian fiction authors write about. He gets criticized because of this from the church. But he doesn’t write for the church. He writes what God places in heart and spirit to write. I didn’t see Jesus pulling any punches for the mainstream church. Matthew 12:34 - You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. I would say the Jesus was an outside of the box kind of guy.

What I enjoy doing after I read these books that I love at record speed is re-read them. I can’t begin to count the amount of times I read Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness in the last 20 years. Wow, I’m really old if I can tell stories that took place over 20 years ago. I realized how much I missed the first time around. I believe I enjoy the book more. If I can pick up so much the 2nd time and 3rd time around, how much do I miss every time I read God’s word? How much more beneficial is it to me to repeatedly soak the living word into my heart and spirit. Re-reading novels is for fun. Re-reading God’s word is life giving. I know I can’t have enough life giving activity in my life, how about you? The same scripture verse never speaks to me in the same way twice. God is good and His word is good. Not only do I need to have more of his presence in my life, I also need His life giving word. Reading is fundamental.

© Nadine Z.

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