I sometimes feel as though it is hard for me to connect with others. I don’t know the latest musicians. I’ve never been able to quote lines from movies. I watch TV shows AFTER they’ve gone off air (I “discovered” The West Wing only two years ago and now think it’s the best show ever). I don’t know any sports stats. The list of what I don’t know can go on and on . . .
But what I do know is books. I LOVE to read. I’ve been an avid reader since my very first Baby-Sitters Club book back in 3rd grade. When I’m reading I feel connections with the characters. Sometimes I envy them, or understand them, or dislike them. But I always feel a connection. I also feel a connection with “real” people as I discuss these books. I love to know what they liked about a book, or why they didn’t like a book. I enjoy dissecting a book with others to discover hidden meanings and I love recommending books and having books recommended to me. Books are one of the biggest ways I connect with others.
One of the best books through which we can form connections is the Bible. I have had the privilege of reading through the Bible twice: once in a required Intro to Bible course in college and the other time as a 90 Day Bible Reading Challenge. Both times, I felt so connected to God as I was reading through the scriptures. Here I was able to reflect upon my faith and what it means to live out my life according to the Word. It’s surprising which verses jumped out at me and which questions formed as I was reading through the text. But the biggest surprise was not only the connection I made with God, but the connection I made with “real” people as I was reading the Bible. My husband and I had meaningful conversations and questioned each other. I talked to other people about what I had read and asked for their insight and views on the text. I tried to better follow and reflect upon the Word in my daily relationships with others. One verse that I have always found comforting is John 14: 27. “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you.” Throughout my daily interactions with people, I try to bring God’s peace to others and allow other people to shed peace to me.
I encourage all of you, cyber-people: the next time you need to feel connected, grab your Bible. Spend a few minutes reading the scripture — it doesn’t have to be long. What I can promise you is that you will feel a connection. You’ll feel a connection with God, and you can take that feeling and help it connect you to others.
May God’s love always be with you and may you grow in your relationship with Him and others.