Some people come
into your life as gifts. A child, a parent, a teacher. You
didn't pick them, yet they become a big part of your life. They
are like the dictionary of the book world. They help form who you
are- the language or your being. It doesn't take a lot of thinking
to realize who these people are. For good or for bad, they leave a
lasting impression on your personality.
They may be the
dictionary that sits on a pedestal in the library- the kind that the
pages have become soft with use. Too big to hold, yet running your
fingers over the print and the tiny pictures stirs your imagination.
It's as if knowledge could be soaked up through your skin. These
may be your grandparents or other relatives who were there for you- but
not as personal as your parents and siblings.
Or, they may be
like the little pocket dictionary you wanted, and maybe got, as a
school-aged child. The kind that fits in your backpack. and is
hard to carry with a stack of bigger books. It 's a very useful
kind. Not fancy, paperback, and long forgotten after the school
years are over. These people may be the neighbors, the aunts and uncles,
the family friends. People who were there most of your formative
years. These are the ones who formed your opinions about politics,
religion, and maybe races. The part of you they helped create is a
very difficult one to change. It's a part that came slowly and
subtly with no conscious awareness on your part.
Then there is the
one like the dictionary in the school room. Hardback, used by
everyone- you had to take your turn. It may have had gold-edged
pages when it was new. It is not really anyone's favorite
one- but everyone ends up using it at one time or another. It's a
bother to get to sometimes, but, then when you need it, you need
These are the doctors, the
psychologists, the substitute teachers , etc. had to see.
You never really had any personal relationship with them- but they were
necessary all the same. The way these people deal with you affect
your perception of their profession for years. It also affects
your perception of yourself in that profession's eyes. Of course,
this can change- and probably will- but for years, it may very well
color your world.
The school books of the world, are a bit different than the
dictionaries. You need them and maybe will learn a lot from them-
but you have the choice of how much you will use and remember. These
are people who come into your life- usually, also uninvited, but not necessarily
for long periods of time. You know they aren't permanent fixtures
in your world, so you don't plan on making any deep relationships
with them. Of course, you never really know which one will reach
out and grab your heart. These are your classmates, your co-workers,
your summer camp friends, your swimming teacher, etc. Eventually,
some of these people will become lifelong friends...just as the textbook
of the subject you find you really love.
Here's another type of book. This is the one you may never
pick up or open. But it always seems to be around and familiar. It
doesn't really interest you because it looks boring, or too much like something
someone made you read that you hated. This is the person who is in
your life, but you never make an effort to get to know them- and you really
have no conscious reason. The connection just is not there.
There's no way of ever knowing what this person could have meant to you.
Perhaps she was an angel unaware! Or, maybe, just maybe, you do get to know this person
for no reason you can remember. Or maybe you just talk to him- and something
HUGE happens in your life through him. You take a risk- but this is the
person who never makes you sorry you took that risk. It may be a
short-term relationship, or you may hold this person dear for the rest
of your life. We all have someone like this in our lives, and I
suspect she or he has a part of our deepest spiritual awakening.
They touch a part of our hearts that no one else ever will.
I guess there is a
big lesson here- not to ignore these people in your life! "Some have
entertained angels unawares!"
Ah, my favorite
books! These are the ones you want to read over and over and over.
You tell people about them. You buy other people copies of them.
You remember parts of them like the back of your hand. They are
not only familiar and comfortable, but they have a healing power. They
are like an oasis in the dessert; a port in a storm. People like these books are your dearest friends.
also like your immediate family.) Because these people are so dear to your
very soul, they can change who you are. In the case of a parent-
if the love God intended is not there, the bond is changed, but never
broken. Instead of a safe harbor, it may be a prison. Yet,
as counselors everywhere will tell you, one finds a safety even there.
It may not be "healthy" or "safe" but we always seem drawn back to them.
At some point in your life, you may have to chose to throw these books
away- if your belief system changes, or they become damaged beyond
repair. Or you may lose interest. People like this may have
to be walked away from if you find your life is damaged by them.
My prayer is you don't have many people in this category that you need
to walk away from. They are the hardest to leave - just as this
kind of book is the hardest to toss away. Tears flow for both.
On the positive
side- the "good" ones will sustain you all your life. The memories
and the dreams you share with these people are a driving force in your
life. They light your way through life- and you do the same for
Everyone needs the child-like books in their life. The short stories.
The playful plots. The humor and "happily ever after" stories. I think
we tend to neglect the people in our lives that fit this category.
Oh, some have no one other than these, but I'm talking about the
serious, responsible adults we try to become. We forget to keep
the child in us. That's where our dreams and hope reside.
That's where we forget to be sarcastic or bitter or "realistic."
That's where we dare to dream, dare to hope, and dare to believe. They
may be the people in our lives we may see as too silly or
not driven enough. or perhaps they are mentally or physically challenged. We had best keep them around us, or we truly will
lose the child in ourselves. We could even forget to have fun! (The best part of discovering the internet, is I have discovered
some new friends in this category- and I cant begin to tell you how much
they have brightened up my life!)
And, of course, there are the books we keep with us for life.
We chose these carefully and they become part of our every day.
They are our cookbooks, parenting books, resource books, and just plain
necessary books. We can't live without them. These people are our
spouses, our children, our spiritual partners. They are the one or
two friends we hold dear to our heart, no matter what. The ones
you can honestly say know you better than you know yourself. These
people hold you accountable and love you unconditionally. These
are people you pick to mold your life.
The most important
books of all are deep; life changing, life forming, and life saving. These are books
of truth and salvation. These are the books of the Word of God. No other books can take their place- and no other books can
change you like these. They are God-inspired and God-filled.
They are meant to become part of you. They are your guidepost, your
comfort and your promise. These people aren't people with skin on them. They are
the three personalities of God. They are God the Father, Jesus the
Son, and the Holy Spirit.
They are all we need.
The rest are optional.
The rest are gifts.
Do you need to know more about these books?
Well, of course,
you do! We all do! Dig into them, read them, meditate on them, memorize them
Your life will never be the same!
If you haven't a copy yet of your
own- come in my
library and check
out an on-line version. Also, you can click on the verse of the
day below and find a great set of Bible resources as well as several
versions of the Bible.
you do---don't ignore them! Thank God for all our books, for all our people in our lives.
But most of all, thank God for Jesus!!!!!! He is our dearest friend.