For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved spending gloomy days at Barnes & Noble. I love the chaotic organization of the place. I often scour the shelves, find a book and sit on the floor somewhere in the store just to finish it within a few hours. So naturally, today I felt the need to get out of my house and I find myself here at B&N. This has always been “my place” but today it feels different. It’s not bad. It’s just that it doesn’t feel like my solitude anymore like it did for so long.
In high school, I often came to the bookstore to avoid reality. I guess that’s why I initially showed up here today. But instead of being able to shut my brain off and dive into a book like I usually do within these walls, I’m here writing this and God is so clearly speaking to me through such a miniscule change in experiences.
I’ve written once about diving into scripture once already in “Coffee Stains on the New Testament”. But as I sit here surrounded by books, I feel the pull on my heart that this is what I need to discuss; but on another level this time.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” – James 1|22
As I felt the need to talk over reading through the word once again, the verse above came to mind. To me, this is like a, for lack of a better term, slap in the face. So often I find myself being simply a hearer of the word and not a doer. There is such a large difference but it is so hard to realize whether or not you are being a doer because of the way of the world. We float through life day to day and we all so desperately need this “doer” wake up call! I need it just as much as the next person.
Underlining the Bible’s commands in blue or using a highlighter for our “favorite” parts might make for a colorful Bible (hearer), but the point of the commands is that we obey them (doer). It can be so tough. I understand that completely. I grew up in church and go to a Bible college and it’s still so hard for me to discipline myself to take time to read my Bible daily. The thing is though, lately I’ve felt such a pull toward this next step in my walk with Christ. I think the more we allow ourselves to listen to what God has to say, the more our hearts and minds will yearn for His word. I honestly feel that this is the reason I ended up alone here at Barnes & Noble today. I guess God decided to speak to me through this place full of words to show me that the most important words I should be diving into are His own.
To hear the word and not do as it says leads to deception, but to hear the word and to do it leads to blessing. Now, I’m not saying that if you sit down for 3+ hours every day and read your Bible and pray fancy prayers that your life will be full of rainbows and unicorns and lots of glitter. Honestly, I’m more so saying that if you do that, your life will probably be the opposite of all those sparkly things. As we grow closer and closer to our creator, Satan uses his claw to etch away at the crimson covering Jesus has ever so graciously poured over our blackened hearts and it is our job as Christ followers to allow God’s word to continue to renew our hearts on the daily.
Immerse yourself in the word of our God this week. I know I will be trying my hardest to do the same. I am praying that as each of us picks up our Bible, that God speaks to us in whichever way He sees fit.