I like to read. I enjoy mysteries (escapism), action novels (vicarious living), adventure stories (being a hero), how to manuals (learning), history (reflection), poetry (imagination) and theology (what if). Depending on my mood, a myriad of choices seem to present themselves so as to slake my thirst.
I suppose my reading choices allow me to both escape from and lean into the realism of living life while articulating my experiences. It allows me to apprehend those things that are unseen but nonetheless pivotal to our communal living. In emphasizing such, I have a running list of book quotes on my iPhone simply because they inform my current head or heart space. I like the way words are used, how authors massage and bend them into unique expressions that captivate a concept, a thought or a reality. I read because of the “one liners,” those transformative sentences that re-focus my thinking and bring about radical clarity.
Reading has the potential of being a guiding light that opens up a world that I will never fully understand, comprehend or witness. Each society, culture or religion has their revered tomes that divulge critical information that shapes or molds a particular reality. As Christians, the Bible is for us, the “go to” standard from which much is gained and strained. It is not an easy book to either fathom or to live by. Yet, it is not the book itself that is ultimately important, though significant in its own right. Rather, it is the stuff that transpires of its pages that shape our attitudes and perspectives that is critical. History is littered with disastrous interpretations that have imperilled our actions to love neighbour and stranger alike. To take from sacred texts that which speaks to the navigational beacons of life seems incredibly important. President Jimmy Carter stated:
What are the things that you can’t see that are important?
I would say justice, truth, humility, service, compassion, love.
You can’t see any of those, but they’re the guiding lights of life .
- President Jimmy Carter.
I read, seeking to be informed and motivated by such clarity…it is the art of Wisdom!