The older I get, the more I see value in books as gifts. I’m not an avid reader – still am not – but I have made deliberate efforts to enhance my mind. It is in recent years that I delight most in receiving books as well as to spend time in a book store reading or just choosing a book. On a less serious note, this whole idea of buying a book is similar to buying a DVD in Shanghai; it’s therapeutic because you enjoy the idea of watching/reading it, but you may not actually get down to doing it.
Many people boast of an impressive arsenal of books, magazines and films but their purchases are still sitting on the shelves waiting to be devoured. We enjoy shopping for books and films because it makes us think that we actually have the time to pursue it. It’s like the photography outings I’ve convinced myself of embarking on but my archives reflect otherwise. It’s like the massively-innovative home improvement ideas that I’ve yet to implement for my room. My thoughts are incoherent but these things come to my mind when I purchased Leonard Ravenhill’s Why Revival Tarries at SKS today, together with RY and BB.
Without a shadow of a doubt I will complete reading this classic. Actually I’ve read quite a lot this year, well, at least relatively, and I am pleased with my knowledge-acquiring efforts. But I sense it’s just not enough. The plethora of books at SKS remind me that there is no end to acquiring knowledge. Knowledge could either be the most powerful tool or the whitest elephant. Read books represent knowledge. Books were written to be read. No one writes a book for the purpose of not wanting anyone to read it. Okay, I don’t know why this entry has skewed itself into a read-more-books-to-save-your-mind plea.
I reckon that something scarier than untapped potential (in unread books) is unused knowledge (in read books). I pray that I will never get so puffed up in knowledge and argument that it remains only in my head, untransferred to the way I live. Imagine if we actually lived out the instructions of just one book; it may actually change our lives. Imagine the impact of reading one book a month and taking the actions prescribed in it. We would be supremely successful, effective and influential.
But the even scarier thing is how we approach the Word and how we approach sermons thinking that it’s all “old” and “familiar” stuff respectively. We should always be filled with wonder and freshness as we get to know God more, in this instance, through the knowledge available in books. This should enable and empower us to read books, regardless of whether they are Christian, secular, fiction or non-fiction, for the glory of God. May I learn to approach acquiring knowledge with the attitude of knowing God more. After all, there is nothing new (to God) under the sun.