Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Bookworm for the glory of God!

A month and a half has been and gone since I last blogged, and my excuse for not blogging in a while is pure and simple. I'm a book-worm.

Travelling on more buses/tubes/trains than ever before recently has led me to experience the joys of reading while commuting - I cant recommend it enough! "Why?" I hear you ask?

1) It makes time fly - Travelling in a stuffed full train/bus/tube (delete accordingly) is NOT fun, ask any experienced commuter and no doubt they will be able to inundate you with terrible stories of aching legs, sweaty bodies and boring journeys. Open a book? Suddenly I'm home - time has flown by and i've been unaware of the discomforts of travelling because I've been completely immersed in whatever i'm reading!

2) It stops me reading all the other junk around - You walk down towards the London underground and its difficult to dodge the countless free papers being thrown your way - numerous times i've picked up these newspapers; sometimes placing them down in disappointment at the gossip that seeps from them, and other times, sadly, being drawn in to the backbiting of the celebrity world that they seem to both worship and loathe. Instead, why not fill my head with something that I know is honouring to God? Something that will help me to serve him better, rather than provoke me to give in to sin, or be influenced by sinful thinking.

3) It gives me a wonderful opportunity to learn from older wiser christians - I'm 22, I know little of life's experience, and that is why, recently, immersing myself in the works of Elisabeth Eliot, Carolyn Mahaney, Jonathan Edwards, John Piper, Catherine Marshall, Edith Schaeffer and others has helped me to gain experience from those who have walked with the Lord longer than myself. It seems like I'm opening a treasure chest of wisdom passed down by godly men and women, and to be honest, their books have left me more eager to live a life that is God-glorifying, Christ-centred, Spirit-strengthened and motivated by the "grace that teaches me to say "NO" to ungodliness" (Titus 2).

4) It leads to opportunities to share the Gospel with my fellow commuters - Just the other day I was travelling to visit a friend and thought i'd take the opportunity of being on the train to read the Bible. I opened my Bible to Ruth and in a fairly empty carriage minded my own business reading away. Before long I became increasingly aware that across the carriage was a young man who had clearly been drinking, my fear only heightened when he spoke up and I realised he was addressing me "Is that a Bible your reading?"
What followed was a conversation about how this young man had once known the Lord, but after suffering some tough blows he had turned his back on his redeemer and turned to the bottle. His life was now wracked through with alcoholism. We chatted about where he was putting his trust, what his refuge was, and about how, ultimately, he would only find the satisfaction he was craving in Christ. I will never know the outcome of that conversation, but I trust that in God's sovereignty and providence he will use my reading on the train that day to accomplish his sovereign purpose.
So, let me encourage you, fellow reader, to dust off the bookshelves and stick your nose in a book, and be praying that God will use your travel time as an opportunity to take every moment captive to Christ, to help us flee sin, to help us learn from those wiser than ourselves, and to be an opportunity for witness with those around.
Happy Reading!!!

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