What is the greatest gift you have ever been given?
This question came into my mind a couple weeks ago. For the Christian, the most glorious gift is indeed salvation. We were dead in sin and Christ has made us alive in God through his life, death and resurrection. But what is the greatest gift you have been given by another person after this?
The answer that keeps coming into my mind is the gift of reading. And the person who gave me this gift is my mom. Early on in my life I can remember her crying at the end of Charlotte’s Web as she read it to us. Not wanting to admit it though, she told her two boys that she had “something in her eye.” I can remember morning after morning her reading to us stories from the magazine Voice of the Martyr. She wanted us to know of the suffering that other Christians were going through around the world.
She had all of her children read on their own at least 30 minutes a day. She created a culture in our home of reading that has paid dividends in my life immensely. I am thankful for a mom that turned off the television, computer and video games and made us open up a good book.
Reading has not been an end in itself for me. It has changed who I am. The Bible has breathed life into my soul. John Piper’s books have helped me become a Christian Hedonist. C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia have carried me off to a far away, magical land. The biography of Bonhoeffer has inspired me to be a man of courage and the Word.
Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said that you will be the same person you are ten years from now except for the books you read and people you meet. I think he was right and I have my mom to thank.