As a younger man read many types of books, being born into a wrestling match with an overabundant sense of curiosity. In the blush of first exposure, it is easy to be temporarily excited about any type of writing, from sci-fi, to Westerns. I even had a “romance” phase, (very short lived.)
“Treasure Island” is the first book I remember that gave me that unique remorse at watching the stack of pages on the right side of the book slowly shrink, realizing that soon the grand adventure would be over. (If you have never had that experience you have never really read a book) A well-written book delivers a magical journey that transports you into another world.
In my early teen years I was swept away by the travel diary “Dove,” the mesmerizing true story of a teen-age boy who sailed a small boat all the way around the world. It captured my imagination like no book before. For a while it was the “gold standard” for me – “Yes, that was a good book, but not at the level of “Dove.”
But where is “Dove” on my list now? Would I read it again? Maybe just to flip through and reminisce. Its appeal to me was rooted in how it resonated with the forces that swirled through that phase of my life: One adventurous and curious youth reading about the adventures of another. Such a book could never have the same appeal 30 years later when my travel itch has been somewhat satisfied, and the idea of a quiet evening at home is more a thing to be treasured than avoided.
It is this passage of time, not clock time, but “life” -time, that separates the true literary treasures from passing emotional carnival rides. On that scale, very few books have risen to the top. By what miracle can a book grow with you, from tender youth, through busy middle age, passing from season to season, and still provide fresh inspiration and instruction even as your life changes dramatically?
Well, there is a reason why the Bible is most published book of all time. That last sentence is actually hopelessly drowned in a sea of understatement. To say that the Bible is the “most anything” of all time, is to compare it to all the other books. The Bible is so far above them, it’s grandeur is insulted by the comparison, like comparing a swan to a beetle because they both fly.
I have read other so called “holy books”.” (Remember that curious streak?) I have spent some time wth the Koran, Rigveda, the Kalevala (Finnish) the Kabbalah, (Jewish) and more. Even modern upstarts such as the “book of Mormon”. These all could fairly be named in a list with the rest of the world’s books. Not so the Bible. It is in another class. There is on the one hand, the Bible, and on the other hand, all the other books in the world.
By one of the greatest strokes of good fortune imaginable, I was introduced to this book at an early age. I had my own copy by age 5, and have now had over half a century to test it in different environments. Its power crosses cultures, continents, languages, thriving equally as well among young and old, rich and poor, educated and illiterate, penetrating into every nook and cranny of the broad and varied human experience, proving an unparalleled connection with the most fundamental elements of human nature.
Last time I counted, there were 42 copies to be found in my house. To think that any soul on planet earth should go through life never knowing how effectively its challenges can be met by the Bible’’s resilient power is to me a travesty of unthinkable proportions. Those who have not personally experienced the power of the Bible, I do pity, but I at least understand. What is almost beyond comprehension to me is that there could be people who DO understand the value of the Bible, DO want to own one, but by the misfortune of the economy into which they were born, do not have one. To think that the most published book in the world should be out of the reach of anyone is indeed an irony. But if that book is the Bible, the undisputed champion in navigating all of life’s many challenges, it is more than a pity, it is a global sin.
Before I traveled to Africa in May 2018, I had heard that on that continent could be found people who dreamed of owning a Bible but could not afford one, but I couldn’t’ quite believe it, until I met them first hand. Yes, there truly are souls out there who long to own a Bible.
It is for this “reason” —and that is not a nearly strong enough word —that I support Bibles for Africa. Truth be told, I support Bibles for EVERYONE, but Africa is where I have found the need, and have some small power to do something about it. Bibles for Africa is managed by Bible Believers of Washington, an organization both lean and well managed. I am confident that any donations funneled through its channels will reach the destination with a minimum of overhead.
I fully and unreservedly support Bibles for Africa, because I support Bibles for PEOPLE. The Word of God is the greatest gift one human being can give to another. Bibles for Africa provides a way for you to give it.
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