God’s gift to us is our potential and our gift back to Him is to develop it. A recent survey indicates that 42% of college graduates never read another book after college. Wow…..that is shocking to me. Even though I did read books after college, I confess it was not very many until my forties. I remember being motivated to read and then searching for different books to help encourage our kids when they were struggling in golf.
I remember combing the shelves of Barnes and Noble and Books A Million. I found a book written by John Wooden. I didn’t grow up watching sports but was sort of familiar with who John Wooden was. I picked up a book called “Wooden” and read just a little of it while standing in the store and decided to purchase it. Needless to say, I loved it. I grew to love him and everything I learned about him from his past successes to his outlook on life and his Christian faith.
Many things he said in the first book I read, I adopted for my own life. The one thing he said that literally was like a flame reaching out and scorching my cheeks was, “If you choose not to become a life-long reader, you CHOOSE a life of ignorance.” His words burned a little and, at that moment, even though I was sitting by myself, I was embarrassed. I realized I was “choosing ignorance!”
There was an immediate conviction in my heart. From that “RED” moment of realization…I traveled to three different book stores that day and bought 8 books. I bought every book I could find that John had written. I even found one written about John Wooden’s parents which has become one of my all-time favorite books. That year…I consumed books. It became a daily part of life first because I realized I was in a deficit of knowledge. Second, God fueled my passion, increased my learning, and it expanded my life.
Yes, reading has been a main source which God has used to grow me personally. It has stretched my thinking. It has caused me to incorporate new ideas and learn from the actions of others. It has corrected my wrong and ignorant thinking. It has challenged me and taught me how much I didn’t know. To say the least, in the Back 9 of life…I encourage others to read. I give books as gifts. I write books. And, I carry a book in my purse so that anytime I have a spare minute I can read.
Point of post…Scripture teaches, especially in the book of Proverbs, to seek Wisdom. To look for her as for silver.
The Bible is the first book I read every day. It is the most important–full of wisdom…but there are tons of good books that have been written that can strengthen and increase our wisdom. God has equipped amazing people to write and highlight “spiritual truths” and personal experience that can ignite not only your faith, but expand your horizons for His created purpose for you. When we choose to expand our minds through reading, God will use our actions to increase our learning and challenge us. I have found books are a treasure to be mined for your mind.
The Bible places a great emphasis on knowing the Word. It inspires me to dig for wisdom. Deuteronomy 6:6-9, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
I hope that you will be encouraged to read….to “expand your territory” as Henry Blackaby would say. It can be done in the comfort of your own home. Pick a “good” book today and grow.