STEVE CRAIN: Catching Up On All That Reading
A stack of unread newspapers pushed me into mental overload, so I gave my wife a chance to peruse them and then carted that pile to the Aberdeen recycling station.
I'd scanned many of those papers, and some contained articles I thought might inspire me to write some humdinger religion columns. But with more must-read stuff arriving daily, I decided to ditch my stash.
Here's my problem: I see headlines such as "Only Three Percent of Christians Tithe" or "Bible Club Battles School District" and then save articles printed below such headlines, thinking I'll read them later.
Since I work a day job at a carpet mill and try to handle plenty of other duties, "later" hardly ever arrives. Well, later arrives, but those promising papers (and some magazines and books) sit stoically and become a burden while more news-bearing material lands in our yard and mailbox.
I read some newspapers as they arrive, but many land in piles in my garage office.
I sometimes put news publications beside my family room recliner, but if that stack gets too high, it can cause pulp friction between my wife and me.
Her recliner sits to my left, and a lamp and an end table stand between us. When I finish with a periodical, I lay it on the floor to my left. I'd better be finished with it because my wife wields scissors when she reads newspapers and magazines. She especially likes to send Glenn Sides photos (seen in The Pilot) to friends and relatives.
Some people read a lot, but I wonder if the things they read cause them to "muse" (meaning "think"), or do they read for amusement? "A-muse" means "not to think," a friend told me.
I heard a teacher say it doesn't matter what you read, as long as you read. But I've heard that one of the major influences in a person's life is his reading material.
An old preacher said Christians should stay updated on world events by keeping a newspaper in one hand and a Bible in the other. I guess if he were living today, that minister would have to include TV, radio, the Internet, movies, magazines and whatnot. A person might have to drop his Bible and use two hands to handle the whopper of a media bombardment we experience these days.
I keep a copy of the Bible near my recliner and should spend more time reading it. Bibles are sort of like pieces of exercise equipment. How many stationary bikes sit unused in basements or junk rooms?
I once discussed Bible reading with a well-read, pretty much self-educated, older carpet designer I worked with.
"Do you read the Bible?" I asked.
"I read it through, once," he said.
He seemed to think of the Bible as comparable to a novel -- read it once, and put it on a shelf.
At present, 15 partially-read books lie beside my bed, and I've accumulated another load of newspapers and magazines since I last trekked to the Aberdeen recycling center. Thomas Aquinas, called the greatest Christian theologian of the Middle Ages by some scholars, probably had the right idea when he said, "I am a man of one book."
Steve Crain may be reached at email@example.com.
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