April 16, 2020by Reverend Dan on April 16, 2020
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
Long, long ago in a galaxy far away, there existed buildings known as “Libraries”. In those buildings were books and magazines and periodicals of every kind. If you wanted to find out information, you visited one of those “libraries”. Once you entered the library, any noise above a whisper was forbidden by punishment of expulsion, and even whispers were frowned upon.
Each library had a similar, musty odor from the thousands of books on its shelves and each one operated with the exact same process and procedure. You opened a file drawer of index cards known as the “card catalog system”, which used the Dewey Decimal System to put the books in order. You looked up books in that file by title, subject matter, or author. There were a series of alpha-numeric codes on the card and you’d look at the chart on the walls of the library and walk to whatever floor that subject of books was on (these buildings usually had three to four levels). Once in the right place, you would locate the same alpha-numeric code on the spine of the book that was on the card. The books were shelved in alpha-numeric order, so they were easy to find.
Then you would pull the book from the shelf and take it to a table and sit down and pretend to peruse it, making sure it was either written by your professor or by someone he or she respected academically. If the book had something even close to the information you were looking for you would then walk to the “check-out” desk. Once there the librarian (the master of the library universe who said encouraging things like, “Young man, please quiet down” and “Young man, this is your last chance”) would ask for your “membership card”. Handing them your card in exchange for the book was a contract which meant they would “loan” you the book for a specified length of time, usually two weeks. They would put a little stamp on a card in the back of the book to let you know when the book was due back. Then you would take the book to your room, pull one or two quotes from the book for the paper you were writing (whether it really had anything to do with the topic or not – you just made it fit because your professor liked the author) and then you would set the book on your shelf. Then you would forget you had the book and they would send you a reminder in the mail and you would have to pay a fine – usually $0.05 per day – for every day it was late. Once the fines accumulated, you had to pay that total before you could graduate. (The same was true with parking tickets issued by the campus police. Or so I’ve heard.)
Many people . . . OK, some people . . . OK, a few geeks . . . would go to these buildings on the campuses of their colleges to study because they were very quiet. Many others went to these buildings to sleep because they were so quiet. And some never entered the building at all. They simply used it as a landmark in giving directions.
Believe it or not, it’s only been 20-30 years since those buildings were the center of academic (and community) activity. Today, we rarely go to libraries, and if we do, we head straight for the computers. You can find on Google in a few seconds what it used to take hours to find. I miss the musty odor of the stacks of books, but I do appreciate the speed with which information is available to us now.
There is still one set of answers we cannot find at a library or on the internet. It is the wisdom that only God can give us. Time alone with God can reveal to us the things no book or technology can. It can give us peace that passes understanding, and open our very beings to a special wisdom that is beyond the reach of the knowledge of the world we live in.
Visit God today. Take out THE book, your Bible. Access the wisdom that created the universe and let it be the guiding light of your life.
“Father, Thank you for the wisdom of the ages that only You can provide. Help us to find understanding in Your presence and in Your Word. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”