I wish I could, but I just can’t do it.
I can’t make the leap.
I know it’s more practical—it would save money and space and just be easier all the way around. But I can’t do it.
There is something about holding a book in your hands, feeling the weight of the words inside, watching the sand shift from one side of the hourglass to the other as you progress through the pages. Books engage our senses. They have a certain smell to them and a texture; they draw our eyes to the bookshelf and elicit long-forgotten memories with a simple glance.
Are you a book person, too?
I have tried electronic reading and it’s just not the same thing. My life is filled with endless scrolling these days: email, texts, social media posts and stories. Everywhere I turn, there is a device noisily crying for my attention. When I sit down to read, I can’t bear to look at another screen!
But I think my favorite thing about real books is simply turning the pages. Somehow, the physical act of flipping from page to page keeps me moving forward. Occasionally I might go back to revisit something, but generally one page leads to the next. Chapter two follows chapter one. Chapter three follow chapter two. And before long, I’m turning that last page and closing the cover with a sense of accomplishment.
Jeff and I have been turning a lot of pages recently. Taking one daughter to college and moving our other daughter into an apartment; with that came a shift in parenting that feels like it requires an entirely new instruction manual.
Not only do we have just boys at home now, Eli started high school, which definitely brings us into a new chapter. We are navigating the dance of caring for an aging parent (Jeff’s dad) and all that comes with it—another new chapter.
And I finally finished the first draft of my book (which is SO exciting!), but as I turn the page into whatever comes next, I feel like I’m in that part of the story where you have no idea where the author is taking you, and the only thing you can do is keep reading.
We all have pages we must turn in life:
Childhood to Adolescence.
High School to college/career.
Young adulting to actual adulting.
Leaving one job for another.
Moving to a new home or a new town.
Making new friends and moving on from others.
For some, going from single life to dating to marriage, then from married life to parenting. And then we start all over again, turning those pages with our children or nieces and nephews.
TURN THE PAGE
In Isaiah 43, the Lord encourages His people to turn the page. While they were being held captive in Babylon at the time, their next chapters would include not only their release from bondage, but also the coming of the Messiah, and in Him, the hope of salvation for the rest of the world! “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
Can you hear Him whispering, “My Child, don’t be afraid to turn the page!”
What page are you turning these days? Are you dreading it and procrastinating? Or are you eagerly anticipating whatever comes next? Are you closing a chapter, possibly even beginning a new book? Whatever it is, I know it can be scary, and sometimes it can feel flat out impossible.
But, friend, if you don’t turn the page, you can’t move forward, and you’ll never find out what happens next!
Elisabeth Elliot wrote often about the need for acceptance. Usually it is not our circumstances that cause us to struggle, she claimed, but our faulty expectations. When we surrender our lives to a Sovereign God, we can trust that in every chapter and on every page, He is causing and allowing and using each circumstance to mold us more and more into His image.
“It is in our acceptance of what is given that God gives Himself.”—Elisabeth Elliot, These Strange Ashes
Let’s listen to Isaiah and choose not to dwell on the past, but bravely turn the page and step into the new things He is doing.