I grew up in the boonies. We didn’t even have a bookstore. As far as I knew one got books at the library or in the mail. But every year we went to a conference at the Prairie Bible Instituted a couple hours drive away. (A long way in those long gone days.) Wonder of wonders, they had a book store. I loved to wander the store. Row after row of books and Bibles. Shelves of writing material–pens, pencils, notebooks. It was the highlight of the trip in my opinion. I particularly liked turning the pages on a Bible that had a concordance/dictionary in the back complete with illustrations. Fine black leather cover. India paper pages…gold trimmed. I wanted it.
I was twelve years old and babysat at 35c/hour. The Bible was, as nearly as I recall, $35. You do the math. I save my money from babysitting and bought the Bible.
The cover is now worn until it is closer to brown than black.
The gold has long been gone from the edges of the pages.
There are a few loose pages and one or two pages taped together. There are notes in the margin. In fact, it is quite dog- eared. But in my affections this is a Bible full of memories of spiritual times growing up. I can trace my struggles and hopes and growth on its pages.
The other day as I was looking for a verse to use in the story I am working on, I found another treasure. It is a tiny clipping I cut out many years ago–soon after I got my Bible. I knew I had stuck it in the pages but haven’t been able to find it in year so assumed it had fallen out and was lost. I was thrilled to connect with this lesson from the past.
The clipping is a quote from Marcel Achard, a French playwright. “When I think of how little it takes every monrning to put me in a bad mood, I tell myself that is doesn’t eally take any more effort to be in a good mood.”
I remember reading that and thinking how true. How surprising to think it was that simple. I decided I might as well make the effort to be in a good mood. Of course, I haven’t always succeeded but I try.
I love finding the clipping that made me acknowledge this truth.
I’d love to hear stories about the first Bible that was meaningful for you and why. There might be a free book to at least one of those who respond.