I can remember that day when I was a sophomore in high school and Mrs. Musgrove called me into the hallway. She was my English teacher and somehow had a hunch that I didn’t read the classic novel she assigned. It could have possibly been my quiz grade that gave it away. I guess the “Cliff Notes” didn’t help much that time. There was another person out there with me, who shall remain nameless, as my partner in crime. Love ya DW!! She looked me dead in the eye and asked,
“Chris, do you even like to read?”
I looked her back dead in the eyes and revealed information that didn’t seem to be front page news,
I also remember one of my best friends coming back from his first semester of college at Southwestern University and revealing to me his theory on being smart. He was and still is one of the smartest guys I’ve ever known. CB simply said,
“I am around smart people all the time. I know how to get smarter. If you want to be smarter…….read.”
At that point, I pretty much committed to be dumb the rest of my life. The price to pay according to CB’s theory, was just too much for me take on. Back then, and up until about 6 months ago, reading was just not my cup of tea. I gave it a try a few times, but found myself daydreaming 2 pages into it or falling asleep after 2 paragraphs. If the book had a movie, whip out the popcorn, and count me in. But, anything over 10 pages was going to sit on the shelf and collect some dust. I even tried reading some cool sports books and biographies about coaches I admired….no dice. Then I was reading a blog from a guy that I really admire (his posts are only a couple of paragraphs each) and saw this. It completely changed my theory and motivation for reading. I have now become an avid reader and have seen some big benefits. Here are a few:
1. My relationship with Jesus has grown dramatically. Reading has shown me so much about being a committed follower and continues to stretch my faith.
2. My relationship with my wife has grown dramatically. One of the first books I read was on marriage. I learned so much about God’s design for marriage and how Satan will attack it in every way possible. As I read that and shared bit and pieces with Tracy, I immediately began to see improvements in our marriage. As I keep reading, I can see Tracy admiring me and my leadership more and more. Not that I don’t have a LONG way to go, but I do see improvement.
3. Reading has opened numerous opportunities for conversation with other people. Tracy and I have been able to minister to many people in many different situations with the conversation starter being something about a recent book that I had read. I don’t know if it has made me smarter, but it has made me more diverse in my ability to relate to people.
Thanks Kevin for your wisdom and insight!
Here are a couple of my reads that have had impact.