Thursday, August 1, 2019

My Stephen Kingiversary

Three years ago today I started reading my first Stephen King book. It was the expanded version of The Stand, and it is still one my favorite books I’ve ever read.

But the story begins long before that. When I was nine or ten years old I remember visiting my aunt and uncle’s house and being in awe of their collection of Stephen King books. Even though that was almost 30 years ago, King had already written many novels, and to my young mind it seemed that my aunt and uncle had them all. I’m not sure what my fascination was, and to be honest, I am not sure if I should have known who Stephen King was at that age. One evening my aunt let me take a book home with me when I left her house. I can still remember that drive home, the way the book felt in my hands. It was hard cover, and the weight of it was foreign to my normally holding Judy Blume hands. It was Pet Sematary, and it mesmerized me.

I never actually read that book. I am sure it sat around for several weeks and then was returned to my aunt and uncle. As much as I loved that book, I wasn’t prepared to read it. However my fascination - or my love affair - or whatever it was - didn’t stop, and that’s how I found myself finally reading The Stand three years ago.

Now I am able to sit down with a Stephen King book and read 1000 pages in a week. Over these last three years I’ve stayed up late, depriving myself of sleep because I was so engrossed in what was happening in his books. I’ve packed his books away to take on vacation. On many occasions I’ve stashed a book in my purse so I could read in a waiting room or the front seat of my car between appointments.

But when I really think about my Stephen Kingiversary, it comes down to one terrifying thought: I should love reading Scripture as much as I love reading Stephen King. Of course I do love Scripture. I love that God has provided us a written word. I love the practical advice of James. I love the scandalous stories of Genesis. I love envisioning all the characters around Jesus in the gospels. I love how Psalms begins in the New Century Version:

"Happy are those who don’t listen to the wicked, who don’t go where sinners go, who don’t do what evil people do. They love the Lord’s teachings, and they think about those teachings day and night." (Psalm 1:1-2)

But does an almost daily devotional or a weekly Bible study mean that I really love the Lord’s teachings? Do I think about His teachings day and night? When was the last time I read Acts by nightlight so I wouldn’t wake up my sleeping husband? When was the last time I thanked the dentist for running late so that I could read a few more Proverbs? When was the last time I left my schedule open so I could read Revelation in one sitting?

Lord, I want to love your Word more than any other word that exists. I want You to be the only King of my heart. Let Scripture be an anchor in my life that keeps me close to You. Amen.