01 April 2011
5 Reasons I Read
If you know me you know I love to devour books. I love to read from the whole gamut of the buffet. I enjoy it all: nonfiction, Christian lit, fantasy, science fiction, historical biographies, epic poetry, how-to's, allegories, journals, and more. I love a sharp story, profound prose, and excellent enigmatic plots in action. Books are so much more than words on page just like a smile is far more significant than the moving of the muscles it takes to grin.
So without further ado, here are the top 5 Reasons I Read:
1. I'm changed when I read. What we read has the power to shape us. Reading takes us on a journey of self discovery. Reading has the power to take the discerning reader into the thoughts, attitudes or ideas of another. In essence, good writing allows you to see what someone else sees. And I've found that even though there are other factors contributing to my personal growth, reading is one of the biggest: if I'm not reading I'm not growing.
2. Ideas have power and Truth has the most power of all. It's not that every book sets out to creatively present truth, but there are nuggets of wisdom to be gathered everywhere; from a blog post to an expansive novel. And those ideas--that I sometimes mine, other times glean and are often surprised by--have an influence on the way I view the world, decipher life and make decisions.
3. Reading makes me a better communicator. When I see how someone clearly communicates a sticky subject it helps me do the same. When I see a complex concept broken down into a simple children's story or succinct sentence it propels me forward in my craft as well. I want to communicate well: with my wife, with my son, with my youth group, my friends . . . I want to contribute not dilute the conversations I am in and reading helps me do that.
4. Reading makes my mind sharp. I believe that a lot of problems we fail to overcome are the result of fuzzy thinking. Sloppy reasoning. Silly oversimplification or a lack of examination. And reading exercises my mind to think critically, discerningly and effectively in my own life.
5. Discipleship happens as I read. I'll be the first to tell you I can't do it alone. I don't have the time, capacity or drive necessary to figure out life while I still breathe. And the cool thing is: I don't have to. Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ". That's discipleship: someone showing you how to grow so you don't have to spend all your time figuring it out . . . you can spend it living it out. That happens to me while I read. Men and women further along on the journey lead me.
I'm always looking for a good read. What have you read in the past year that you would recommend?