International Evangelist, Ken Terhoven, my late father-in-law, used to tell this story:
There was a young woman who bought a novel, read several pages, decided it was boring, threw it in a box and forgot all about it.
A year later she met a guy and fell madly in love. Some months into the relationship it was obvious they would get married. It was just a matter of time. She was waiting for him to pop the question. He was looking for a ring.
She was constantly wondering when he’d do it. Would he get down on one knee? Where would they be? Would he do it privately or publicly? She was looking for clues, gearing herself for the big event. So on the night they were enjoying a wood oven pizza at their favourite Italian restaurant she gave him her full attention when he announced, “There’s something I want to tell you . . . I’m a published author.”
His announcement, though not what she expected, was a surprise. Why hadn’t he mentioned it before? This was important. Her mind was buzzing with questions: What genre of literature did he write? How many books? Who was the publisher? Where could she buy his book?
“I’m not much of an author”, he said sheepishly. “I’ve only written one book. A novel. It didn’t sell many copies.”
She sensed his pain, immediately understood why he hadn’t talked about it before. He’d obviously hoped for more – maybe dreamt about the book being the launch of a successful writing career.
“What’s it called?” she asked gently.
“Justice Spurned”, he replied.
She was gob-smacked! That was the title of the boring novel she’d thrown in a box. What should she do? Should she say something? She decided not to say anything . . .
Intrigued, she was eager to get home to resurrect the book. She found it in the box behind the shoes in her closet. Pulling on her nightdress she climbed into bed, turned on the bedside light and began to read. The first paragraph captivated her. After a few pages she was spellbound. Every word was devoured, every page sent shivers up her spine. Enthralled, she read right through the night. Finally, with the first rays of sunshine poking through the chink in the curtains, she finished the book, placing it on the side-table with a contented sigh. It was the best book she’d ever read!
So what changed? Why was the book boring the first time around but riveting on the rebound? It was the same book – the same words.
Of course we know what made the difference – know what changed. She was head over heels in love with the author.
Similarly, when we’re head over heels in love with Jesus, we’ll want to read His Word for all it’s worth!
© Scripture Union Canada 2014