When you open a book do you look for truth?
[I know entertainment is my first reach.]
Is this the next great adventure? I think to myself.
Why can’t truth and adventure coincide?
What if that’s exactly what God wanted when the books in Scripture were first put to the page?
You and I are made, created, by a Creator. It is only appropriate that the word ‘Yes’ should be preeminent. (Although, our upbringing in the church might’ve been more slanted on Old Testament ‘No’s.)
Thomas a Kempis wrote: “Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer…but let the love of pure truth draw you to read.”
How different would your reading be if that was the context with which you picked up any text?
Kempis added, “Men pass away, but the word of the Lord endures forever…God speaks to us in different ways…read with humility, simplicity and faith, and have no concern to appear learned. Ask questions freely, and listen in silence to the words of the Saints; hear with patience the parables of the fathers, for they are not told without good cause.”
I know if I read ANY book this way my takeaway would be immense!
For contemplation, free yourself from transitory, distracting, short-lived things.
For me, I tried to sit in my office today during lunch and listen for ten minutes. I only made it five, but the heart is what He’s after, right?
Over time, I do believe He can help me get there—listening, waiting longer.
Kempis, later in this same work, The Inner Life, said:
I am God, who enables the humble-minded to understand more of the ways of the everlasting Truth in a single moment than ten years of study in the Schools…I teach in silence, without the clamour of controversy, without ambition for honours, without confusion of argument. I teach men (and women) to despise earthly things, to find this present life burdensome, to seek eternal things, to shun honours, to endure injuries, to place all trust in Me, to desire nothing but Myself, and to love Me ardently above all things…For to some I speak on everyday affairs; to others on particular matters; to some I graciously reveal Myself in signs and symbols, while to those who are enlightened I reveal My mysteries.
A book has a single voice, but is not equally profitable to all who read it…I alone am the Teacher of truth, the Searcher of man’s heart, the Discerner of his doings, and I give to each man as I judge right.
Brial L. Tucker