Books & Reading · Heart

Fasting and Feasting

I am a glutton for words.

An addict.

No matter how many things I read, it’s never enough.

I buy into the lie of novelty, even though in my heart I know “there’s nothing new under the sun.” But I bury those words, whispered to the quiet places in my heart, and instead seek out new ones. The ones that promise to deliver me from boredom, organize my kitchen cabinets, potty train my 2-year-old in three easy steps.

All day long my hungry eyes devour words, seeking from them the magic bullet that will solve my problems or make me happy.

It’s not like everything I read is evil. It isn’t. I read a lot of things by Christian authors. Church ministry books. Theology books. Christian parenting books. Allegorical novels. And they’re all terrific.


They aren’t truth with a capital “T.”

There’s only one book that is.

And lately, I’ve noticed this alarming trend in my life to cast aside the words of The Word, who was with God in the beginning, for the words of someone, anyone, else.

It hit me one day when I was reading some Christian book something-or-other, in which the author quoted a passage of Scripture. That’s not unusual in these types of books, in fact it’s pretty common. To the point that I caught myself skimming the words of the Bible.


In my mind, I thought something along the lines of, “yeah, yeah, I know this, I’ve read it before, let me skip ahead to the good stuff.” (As if what the author had to say could somehow be better than words that can divide soul and spirit.)

I would never have said anything like that out loud, of course, but those were my honest thoughts.

And the moment I had them, I was ashamed. Convicted. Reminded once again how weak my sorry flesh is. And I was worried. How could I change? How could I reverse my dependence on any word but the ones that come from God’s own lips?

So for the month of November, I’ve decided to set aside my stack of books my magazines and my Google Reader blog feed.

I’ve had enough.

It’s time to close all the pages the do not matter and open the ones that will outlast the heavens and the earth.

It’s time for ashes. For sackcloth. For fasting.

Except it’s not a fast at all. Really, it’s a feast.

“How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
Psalm 119:103

“Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that
comes from the mouth of God.”
Matthew 4:4

“I am the bread of life.”
John 6:48


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