I just returned from ministry overseas and with all that I need... should....must do, I have succumbed to that siren call of "You need a break. Settle down awhile and pick up that book you've been wanting to read."
It doesn't take much for me to give in and shirk the work. But then that mean old niggling starts.
"Soiled clothing (see how big that pile is?) needs washing! Floors. Ugh! Need to go food shopping, cereal alone, just doesn't cut it . Windows? Forget it! Letters to answer, not forgetting Christmas cards to send." On and on it goes almost shaming me to get to work. Yes, almost is the operative word.
If you're an avid reader, you'll understand. Or perhaps you have iron resolve like some upright leading characters you read about. Really? Yet every so often you find yourself tempted beyond your control. And you slip a little. You pick up that novel you've been dying to get at. And you settle down, despite telling yourself, "Just a few minutes....." Hah! Too late!
And that strange mix of "Can't wait to get to the end and find out what happens," with this, "Hope this doesn't end too soon. It's so good."
Escapism? Is that what it's all about? Or could it be something else drawing us into another world of characters who face the same battles we face? Is it the longing in most of us yearning for wrongs to be made right? To see perseverance and prayers and hope rewarded by our loving God who knows us inside out?
These are some of the reasons I enjoy well-crafted inspirational novels so much. Yes, I also read many other secular novels and appreciate their honesty as to how the authors see their world. But I love the truth that comes to my heart and soul from reading a story in the light of a Christian World View. That point of view gives hope to us and often opens our eyes in recognizing our own imperfect selves. It reveals how giving up is not an option. And how trusting God is not a weakness of character, but more of a trusting, child-like faith in a God who cares for His children.
Why did Jesus tell so many stories? He compared the natural everyday life with its complexities to the spiritual world. In this way He never placed burdens on His followers, instead, He promised His strength to cope with our life, no matter what difficulties we face.
So, taking time out to read helps our souls to grow. It helps us to see that others have overcome those seemingly insurmountable problems. So let's not feel too guilty about our time out for reading, huh?
Rita Galieh, has written a trilogy of historical novels, Indie published, and also contributed to several US anthologies. She is now completing a third historical romance series. A member of ICFW, ACFW, and several Australian blogs, she is on www.ritastellapress.com
Rita studied art at the Sydney National Art School then joined the family ceramics studio. After their marriage, she and her husband attended Emmaus Bible College, and were also involved with Christian Television on Sydney’s Channel Nine.
Currently she co-presents Vantage Point, an Australia-wide Christian FM radio program. She enjoys giving her fun-filled presentations of ‘Etiquette of the Victorian Era’ in costume.