Pages and Chapters

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“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” Ecclesiastes 3:1

I love to read!  I read anything and everything – from books, to magazines, to newspapers and even the TV Guide.  Words are just cool.  I like to see how an author strings them together to create thoughts.  I also enjoy the smell of a new book.  There really is nothing else quite like it.  I have heard it said that smell resonates within our brains to associate with a memory and bring it to the front of our mind’s filing system when we encounter the smell.  For instance, the smell of freshly cut grass instantly places me on the Highschool football field in the middle of cheer leading practice.  The sensory capability of our minds is so amazingly designed that it will capture the smell and then link it to the stored memory which then associates vivid and multi-dimensional objects so as to almost physically transport you back to that place and time when you first encountered the smell.  Amazing! This process is not something that a random migration from a frog could ever create.  No!  “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” by God’s design and created in His image.  (This is a topic for another day.  I just had to throw that aside in as God is truly amazing!)

I was in Barnes and Noble the other day trying to pick out the best SAT study guide for my oldest son as he prepares for this monster of a test.  Who knew there where so many different study guides?  I took a moment to breathe in the scent of new books.  So many memories came rushing in as my mind processed this smell.  My earliest association with the freshly published book binding smell are from childhood trips to the library.  We would go, as a family outing each Saturday, to our local library.  We moved frequently due to my father’s many job transfers, so I was able to encounter a variety of different libraries.  We visited very small and very large libraries but they all carried the same smell.  I could have spent the entire day in the aisles of books, and sometimes I did.  There was always a new adventure waiting for me with each new book that I would pull from the shelf.  It was not easy picking the few that I could actually check out and then get to take home to read but I always knew that new books would be waiting for me to discover when I came back the following weekend.  The constant between each trip to the library and each book was the smell of the books.  The paper, binding, print and cover all combined to produce what I have come to associate with literary magic.  As I sat, soaking in the sight and smell of new books, my mind drifted to the free-word connection of chapters.  Chapters of books and chapters of life.  Pages of books and pages of life.

I am about to begin a new chapter in my life and am very excited to see what God has in store for me.  There is something about a really good book that you just can’t put down.  I just finished a book like this.  I literally could not put it down.  I became so immersed in the plot that I became part of what I was reading and lost all track of time.  As I would reach the conclusion of a chapter, I would tell myself, “just one more chapter”.  That didn’t work so well because before I could blink I would reach another chapter and the cycle would continue.  The opposite can be said about a text book or perhaps the SAT study guide.  “Ugh!  Just one more chapter, I can do it.”  The emotional response is completely different between something we enjoy and something we dread.  This response then carries over into so many other areas from memorization ability to sensory connections to actual quality of life.  Just as in the way that I approach reading a page or chapter of a book, so must I approach each encounter of my life.  Each day is a new opportunity from God for blessing and discovery.  My goal this week:  to approach each part of my life with positivity and eagerness!

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