Someone, who doesn’t believe in God, sent me a 122 year-old Bible last night (New Year’s Eve 2014). His gracious gift both blessed & bewildered me. It made me ponder; what does it mean?
The Bible is tattered. The cover and several pages have fallen off and the binding is broken. There are no marks in it, except a name written in cursive inside the cover: “James Emmett Tucker.”
The only thing I found in the Bible is a clipping of a short poem, Thanks, by Christie Lund. It reads:
“I WOULD indeed give thanks,
I am so rich today;
Rich in the things that count the most–
Love and a child at play;
HOME and those who are near and dear;
Health and strength of limb;
Courage and comradeship and peace,
A faith in Him.
WHO gives all blessings, understands
The things that I would say
In humbleness and gratitude
Of thanks today.”
After reading the poem, I flipped the Bible open and randomly put down my finger. It landed on this verse:
“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him and set him in the midst of them, And said, verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.”
Poet Christie wrote “the things that count the most–love and a child a play.” Jesus said “become as little children.” Our culture teaches “don’t be childlike,” “don’t be innocent and genuine,” “complicate life.” (Which ideas are most likely to produce a happy 2015?)
Perhaps we should take the timeless and transformational thoughts of the ancient Book into 2015. How? By simply reading it for at least 5 minutes everyday. Focus on the New Testament (the last 1/3rd of the Bible). Try it for 21 days. If at the end of 21 consecutive days of reading, it hasn’t made your life better, you can give up its simplicity and go complicate your life some more.