Monday, January 18, 2010

I love words.

I've been thinking today how easy it is to be dragged here and there by what we read.

I love to read what other people have to say. I'm a natural reader - I don't remember learning how to read, and I was reading 9th grade books in 3rd grade. I just plain love words! I consider that a blessing, but one that comes with its own set of challenges.

...Because, (surprise, surprise!) not everything we read is correct. Or necessary. Or edifying.

Besides being a reader, there's another trait I have. (Boy, this post is starting to sound over-loaded with the word "I!" Sorry!) I'm not sure what to call it....I guess I could call it "lead-able." I've got my own set of convictions, and my family says I love to debate, but I'm also pretty easy to influence. Very easy, I'm afraid. (Yes, I love to debate, but I can switch sides right in the middle of the argument.)

For example, I love to read what my brothers might call "health-nut" blogs, books, and articles. Nutrition fascinates me, and I love to read all the theories out there and how each person implements those theories in their kitchen. Cooking with only organic, fresh foods? Count me in! Eating healthy fats? Sounds right. Make your own bread, pasta, and crackers? What fun! Avoid all process foods? I'll jump on that bandwagon.

...And just about every other bandwagon. And it's not just food, either. I plunge into my latest fad with gusto and do-or-die effort, whether it's making my own shampoo and hair gel because I want to avoid chemicals in my hair, or jumping rope everyday because it's the "proven" secret way to tone the entire body, or writing a series on my blog because somebody else did it and it was great, or planting a certain herb because it's good for gourmet cooking (never mind that I don't do any of that).

...All because I read about somebody else doing it, and I thought it sounded great.

You've had the same thing happen to you, right? Maybe you went to a conference, and came home full of ideas and zeal. Something about listening to the speakers inspired you.

Now just imagine you get "inspired" every time you read something. Anything.

Whew. I'm tired just thinking about it. Yet that's the way I am. ....And I read a lot.

Most of the time I don't worry about this too much. I just enjoy the ride, and afford a lot of amusement to my family along the way as they watch my flops and falls. I enjoy the learning process. The failures are part of the fun...ahem....I mean part of the process.

But the problem comes when I find writers with conflicting opinions. Oh, boy, is that frustrating!!! I read a website one day, and come alive with ideas. I read a book the next day, and change my mind. This new guy has it right. Then I read a blog the day after that, and decided that both previous writers were wrong, and this person is right. (This gets really annoying when the topic is doctrine-oriented.)

What's a girl to do?

I'm not sure. But I do know that it's interesting that most of the time we adopt the viewpoints of what we read much of. We seem to take on the opinions of the writers we admire.

Does anyone see a sermon here? :) :) :)

It's rather reassuring to know that if I spend a lot of time reading what my Heavenly Father has written, I will be absorbing His viewpoint, and picking up His opinion on things. It is a comforting thought, when I'm discouraged about my spiritual progress, or lack thereof.

It's like the little boy whose father told him to take a basket, fill it with water from the stream, and bring it to him. The little boy eagerly ran to do as he was asked, but by the time his little legs had brought the basket from the stream to his father, all the water had leaked out.

"It's empty, Father!"

"Well, go fill it again, Son, and bring it to me."

But the same thing happened again. The boy filled the basket full to the brim, and ran as fast as he could, but again the basket was empty by the time he reached his father.

"Go fill it again, Son."

This happened three times. On the fourth try, the boy stood panting in front of his father with an empty basket, and shook his head.

"I can't do it, Father. This is pointless. The basket won't hold water."

"Yes," the father said, looking down at his son, "but look at how clean the basket is now."

In just that same way, I may not think that what I read everyday in the Bible has changed my life in a dramatic way, but each day as God's Word flows through me, it is cleansing me, and changing me.

Thank God for words, but most of all for HIS Words!!

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