We are in the process of buying a new suite of furniture so earlier today Adam and I performed the sad duty of conveying our old armchair to the council dump after many years of loyal service to the family. This was a sombre occasion as I said goodbye to both it and the ‘butt groove’ that I had lovingly moulded into it during its time with us.
As we lifted it, however, to carry it outside on the first leg of its final journey we heard an unmistakable jingling sound coming from its base. There was money inside it. Never one to miss out on an unexpected financial windfall I grabbed a sharp knife and began to cut away the fabric from the armchair’s base. Who knew what treasures lay within? I was like a male Lara Croft, diving into the murky depths of a subterranean cavern. Without the semi automatic weapons, tight shorts and backward somersaults.
Much excavating later, I gleefully emerged with the toils of my labour; which amounted to seventeen empty crisp packets, three pencils, a ruler and the grand sum of £4:71 in loose change. I had been vindicated in my expedition and finished the loading of the armchair into the back of our van a happy man.
Upon arriving at the council dump we unloaded the armchair and as we did so more treasures tumbled from its exterior. Another 39 pence to be precise. That’s over £5 now. Which equated to 18 tins of Diet Coke on ‘special offer’ in our local shop. I was on top of the world, Ma!
I had recovered a few dirty coins. But as well as fuelling my ongoing Diet Coke dependency it also made me think of my Bible which, it pains me to say, I continue to neglect. My favourite Bible is the C.S. Lewis version that Fionnuala bought for me several years ago. But I love it so much that I am almost scared to touch it in case I damage the pages.
The Bible I normally pick up is a New International Version (NIV) Bible which again was a gift from Fionnuala several years ago. It has the standard black cover and is now a bit dog eared. It is also covered in my handwritten notes with favourite passages marked in fluorescent orange highlighter. To be honest it is a bit tatty. And if it wasn’t a Bible I could easily toss it into tbe bin given its sorry condition.
It looks like nothing on the surface. But open it up, dive inside and what treasures lie waiting for us. And not just a handful of coins. No it is the living Word of God which has guided and reassured me so many times since I became a Christian four years ago. Words of truth, freedom and life. Precious words. More precious than any ruby or emerald that the most intrepid adventurer could unearth.
You may read your Bible. You may not own one or have any intention of owning one. Or you may have one which lies on a shelf in your bookcase, rarely opened and gathering dust. But whatever your inclination, I urge you (even if it’s just once) to pick one up and spend some time leafing through its pages. What have you got to lose?
And maybe, just maybe, you too will discover hidden gems of knowledge and wisdom which speak to your heart and mind and which you can apply in a manner which will instil love, hope and peace into your life and the life of others. It can and will change your life if you open yourself to the possibility that there is more to your life than the monotony of the rat race, the inevitability of taxes and the grace.
Go on I dare you. Pick it up, delve into it and see what you find. And if I’m wrong I owe you £5.10. Which I found down the back of an armchair. Because it’s the book which just keeps on giving.
Hebrews 4:12 – ‘For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.’
Do you have a favourite Bible? Or not own one? Or have one but rarely open it?
What is the strangest thing you have ever found down the back of an armchair?