Recently, I have been doing my devotional Bible reading and Bible studies with Bibles that I used when I first became a Christian, forty years ago. While this should not come as a surprise to any Christian believer, it was new for me since for the last five years, I have been using an online Bible.
One day in my office, I was doing my daily devotional with my Bible opened on my desk. My associate entered my office and saw what I was doing. “Interesting,” she said. “You are reading an actual book.”
I smiled. “Yes. I have been finding much pleasure reading an actual book once again.”
She nodded. “Whenever I am able, I try to read an actual book and not an online version. I find I read differently.”
“Not sure. I find I read things more carefully, even flipping the pages back and forth more frequently. I know I could do this with a digital book but somehow, the experience is different.”
I understood what she was attempting to articulate. I also read differently when it is an actual book. Perhaps it is because I must read slower instead of electronically scrolling. Perhaps it is because there are less distractions with a real book, lacking popup definitions and notes. All of these are possibilities but I think it is something much more primal.
Reading a book is the way that I first learned. It reconnects me to my past. There is a comforting familiarity. When we rediscover our roots, we rediscover ourselves. The story of the sisters Mary and Martha echoes this Truth. Jesus was in their home and teaching. Martha was busy with the details of preparing a dinner to later serve Jesus and His disciples. Her sister Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening. Frustrated by her sister, Martha asked Jesus to tell her sister, Mary, to help her with the preparations. Jesus’ unexpected answer was penetrating.
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:41-42 (NLT)
A digital Bible offers instantaneous retrieval of information with numerous bells and whistles, like ready access to Bible dictionaries, commentaries, and maps. However, like Martha, I may become distracted and too reliant on these other resources, that I miss the simple message of the Bible. My spiritual life is no different. It is easy to become distracted by the details of living a life serving God. The fellowship groups. The church activities. All of these are important but if I am not careful, I may allow these to crowd out my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I must reconnect with Him every moment, coming to the Bread of Life to be nourished and sustained.
Jesus is my first love. He is my root. When I rediscover Him, I rediscover myself.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.