I like to peruse the book section at thrift stores, and fortunately for me, there are several really nice thrift stores in our community that have specific areas devoted to religion and spirituality. Often I find myself pleasantly surprised by the great “finds” I discover at amazing prices (and yes, I have way too many books and yet ironically, not enough).
On the other hand, I frequently am saddened by the amount of discarded bibles I find that have been donated to thrift stores. I understand there are a variety of reasons why someone might “give up” their bible to a thrift store, but I can’t help but wonder if more often than not it’s simply because they’ve given up reading and studying the bible. And I believe this because of the frequency with which I find so many bibles that were gifted to someone later to be donated, tossed aside, and not read. This picture below I took last week is just one example of two bibles I found on the same day at the same thrift store. I’m sure I could have easily found more.
The following is a joke / story that is tragicomical, meaning it would be really funny if it weren’t so sad. A pastor had dinner at the home of a couple in his church one evening. After he left, the wife said to the husband, “I think the pastor stole our knife!” This really bothered her for an entire year. A year later the couple had the pastor over for dinner again. Unable to resist, the wife asked, “Did you take our knife last year?” The pastor replied, “No, I put it inside your bible.”
The point is that so many bibles go unread. Never before in history has the bible been so accessible to us either in print, audio, or digitally, and yet we would rather devote our precious time mining the wisdom of Instagram, the pearls of Facebook, or any of the other hundreds of apps or media options so easily at our disposal today.
Perhaps what we need more than ever in our age of disenchantment is a serious reintegration with the ancient Scriptures that continue to be timeless, soul invigorating, challenging, comforting, enlightening, and ultimately will lead us to the heart and will of God. I’m convinced that’s precisely what we need.