Not just another book
Christianity isn’t a philosophy – an idea that you can pop with a needle of rational thought – it was a relationship. The ‘knowing’, is different.Part 4 of “The Failed Atheist”
My passion for the Bible was first noticed back in my early days in the Christian union. Sitting alone when all the kids had left, I thumbed through the pages of the ‘Living Bible’.
The Living Bible is not a version appreciated by everyone, for instance ‘St John’s the Divine’s’ Reverend Peabody who remarked, using the old adage, “It is not a version that should be tossed aside lightly… it should be thrown with great force”.
Not the most accurate translation apparently, but it suited me.
The only bible I had seen before was my children’s bible, with its big letters and simplified stories, squeezed round dramatic, coloured pictures. It was a bit like a birthday card from my Heavenly father; bright and fun. This was different; these were the ‘real’ words; this was his handwritten letter folded in the card; this was from his heart.
I had lost track of time… “Stickers” walked across the chemistry lab; curious, not only that someone had opened it but that they had actually started to read it.
“Do you want that Bible?”
He said, and he enjoyed saying it, as he looked at me with a beaming smile.
“Yer not arf” I said, still reading through the book of proverbs. (Smaller chunks. I’ve mentioned before that I naturally gravitate to small chunks… Unless its food).
He responded; “Why don’t you have it”?
I looked at him.
I’m sure people had given me things I hadn’t expected in the past – in fact I know they had – but this was different! This wasn’t just another book he was giving me; this was a visa given to a desperate refugee. It was an entry permit into a different country; a different kingdom and a new life.
I picked it up and ran.
“Thanks sir” I shouted as I ran out of the chemistry lab, down the corridor, up the stairs, out of the school and all the way home, without stopping. (Boy I was fit then!).
As Jimmy Murdock once told me; “Seize the moment”, or in this case the Bible.
Even to this day I don’t know quite why I ran. (I even left a packet of Quavers on the lab work bench and trust me, under normal circumstances that would never have happened.)
But I know that something inside me caught a glimpse of how precious His word (the bible) is. Somehow (and its not easy to explain it) I knew I had in my hands something that was from God; I had His words; I had His thoughts and I had His breath; and I wasn’t going to let it go!
I knew that these pages were powerful – but more than that they connected me to the one I loved.