Over the weekend, my wife and I attended a trial run of an up and coming business that will put forth a type of training and certification for many. All that I can say right now, about this business is that what they will be doing with people is incredible. They will be presenting qualities and teaching traits that are our generation has lacked for a long time. It is going to be big.
During the trial conference, a shocking statistic was presented. We were told that the average citizen of the United States only reads 0.4 books a year. That's not even half a book! As I sat there, thinking smugly I was glad to not be one of those people, our presenter went on to say that our lives change every time we meet someone new, and when we finish a book. He then pointed to the wall over my left shoulder, and my balloon of pride quickly deflated.
Hung up on this wall of the conference room was a large poster, and on the top was the title Periodic Table of Books. Below those words was a diagram of pictures of the front covers of every book he had read as of September of 2014. He had almost broken the 400 mark. Life long learning was discussed afterward for the majority of our remaining time.
“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.”
- Christopher Morley
I'm learning since this, that reading is a tool, and along with being very enjoyable, it is extremely useful.
And now I am thinking, what if I stopped? What if I did not pick up another book until my dying day. Well, I would most definitey be a lot dumber compared to those who do continue to read, even the ones that read minimally. I would be missing out on so much depth, insight, and knowledge of life. It would, without doubt, be an utter shame.
Even more, it would be a waste. God gave me the ability to decipher what letters mean, separately and in differing orders, to comprehend thought around those ordered letters. It's a gift, a blessing.
If I didn't use this tool God has given me to learn and grow, much less enjoy, I would be a horrible steward. And if I only used this gift from God to read close to half a book a year, how am I using it properly, in an edifying way?
It reminds me of the parable of the Ten Minas, where a nobleman gives servants each the same amount of money to use in business while he was away. On his return he found two of his servants to have used the money they were given well, creating a profit and pleasing their master. The third servant then presents the original amount he was given, explaining that he simply kept it safe in a handkerchief. The parable ends with this last servant being reprimanded harshly and the first two being rewarded handsomly for being trustworthy.
Now you may say, it's only reading, take a sip of coffee and chill a little. Well, I will take a sip of coffee, but will defer the other suggestion. We must believe that even the smallest things are blessings, are gifts from God.
I believe that if we take notice of these small gifts and utilize them, it will shed light on the other gifts and bigger talents that He has entrusted to each of us to enjoy and use.
Doing this, we will be able to see just how much He has given us.
How much he has blessed each of us.
How much he loves all of us.