The Bible, more than a decoration


The other day, I was at my desk and I noticed my Bible, perched on top of a pile of books-- collecting dust.  Seeing this, I said to myself, “wow, I’ve been really busy lately.”  Then I said to myself, “when’s the last time I just read my Bible? Not in preparation for a sermon or Bible Study, but when’s the last time I just read the Bible and allowed the words of scripture to speak to me?”  And then I said to myself, “I should stop talking to myself, people are going to think I’m crazy.” 

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalms 119:105

All of this reminded me of when i worked at a summer camp.  Everyday after breakfast the campers would go back to their cabins to clean, in hopes of winning The Cleanest Cabin Award, which was handed out at dinner each night.  Most of the time, my campers wouldn’t try that hard to win the award.  However, every now and then I would have a group of campers that would really want to win that Clean Cabin Award.  And so, they would make their beds and put away their dirty socks, and sweep the floors, and put their duffle backs neatly under their bunks.  

And then, the campers would put the cherry on top of their entire cleaning effort.  After all, this was a Church Camp that I was working at, and so the campers would dig out their Bibles from the bottom of their duffle bags and they would place them on their pillows, for all the world to see.   Apparently, to 10 year old campers, cleanliness and godliness went hand in hand. 

I’m pretty sure that this was the only time the kids touched their Bibles all year, with the exception being those moments when a Pastor, Sunday School teacher, or me (their camp counselor) asked them to crack the book open. 

I find it rather sad, that we, myself included, so often neglect the Bible and use it as a paper weight, or decoration.    The Reality is that the Bible is a living document where God speaks to us, and from which real wisdom flows. 

I believe that taking time to slow down and allow scripture to speak to us is a daily practice that can change us.  Taking time to allow the ancient stories, prayers, and writings of scripture to wash over us puts us more closely in touch with God.  Many times in my life, I have found comfort, and inspiration, and wisdom in the Scriptures that seemed as if it was written specifically for me.  To use the Bible as nothing more than a decoration is a missed opportunity.  In our world where we are overrun with competing messages, putting ourselves in touch with The Message is vital. 

May the Word of God guide, challenge, and renew us this day and always. Amen.