Wednesday, February 17, 2010

it's all the in between

Put a book in my hands and I am like a little kid again. When I began reviewing books I was just giddy when the mail came. When I see those packages of books I have this goofy smile on my face. As I tear into the packages you would think I am pulling out a million bucks, and to me I suppose it feels like that. That's how much I love books.


But I can feel a bit overwhelmed at times as they are now stacking up waiting for me to read them. I tenderly look at each one to see which one I really want to begin with. I am learning not to accept every book now, just the ones I am really interested in. (which tends to be a lot!) I am learning to take less and enjoy more.


I was having a conversation with others yesterday about how we read books. One asked if we were flippers, flipping through the pages. As we chatted we realized we are flippers, and some of us even start in the back at times. We may pick up the book and just skim through the pages. So yesterday I found myself doing the very thing.


I picked up one of the books I am reviewing. It happens to be a 3in1, so there are almost 900 pages within this book. For the first time I looked at this book and thought, "Wow, this is too much!" I found myself flipping through. I read the beginning, went to the end and saw how thrilling it ended. So now my curiosity was peaked.


I have to be honest and say for the first time I thought, "Can I do this review without reading every page of this book?" It is such a long one, and it is going to take up so much time, but that's when it hit me. I couldn't skip through. I couldn't just read the beginning and the end, its the middle that brings it all together! I just knew I had to read each page, for its when I peeked through the pages that I knew if I just went to the back or just skipped around I was going to miss out on so much.


So, I found myself laying in bed last night thinking this too is how life is. Sometimes the beginning starts out really good so we want to take it slow and enjoy each page, but at times it can start out not so grand, and we want to hurry and skip to the end just to see how it turns out. But it is in the middle, it is between those pages that we find the real story, the heart of the matter. Whether those pages hold tears, trials, loss or laughter, they are important. Its not so much the ending, its how we get there. The story often builds to a peak right in the middle.It is when all looks at a loss that we find the sun shining again. It is in the end when God puts it all together for us, when we can see within each page, and each chapter how He has brought it all together to make a unique book, with no other like it. It can't be copied, it can't reproduced and it can't be rewritten. God is the writer of our story. He knows the beginning, the middle and the end. He knows how those twists and turns are going to turn out. He has already read the story that now lies in our hands.


It is our choice how we turn the pages. On those scary parts we may want to hurry it along, on the pages that carry tears we may not be able to wipe them away fast enough, and on the funny chapters we may want to even take it slow, but our story is worth the read, its worth the wait. For each chapter holds something so special, only designed by God to carry us through to the end.


As I am learning to slow down, and enjoy, we too must learn to do that with life. Even in the hard parts, those struggles that we think we are not going to make it through. If we could take a peek at the end of our story, we would see we made it through and within each page the Lord was right there with us.


Try not to be a flipper in life, start at the beginning, and let your love of life carry you through the very last page. It just might be that journey your on right now to take you into the next passage of life God has for you. It might be this struggle that leads to something beautiful and unexpected. Slow down and allow God to turn the pages for you.


Can you imagine the library in heaven that holds all of our stories? They are each special and they are all best sellers to God, for His hand print is one each one.


Don't just look at the cover or the review to judge whether a book is good or not. Open the pages and you will find your story.
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