Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth
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When my grandson was just two, he became inexplicably obsessed with golf balls. When he awoke every morning, the first thing he did was to search around his crib until he found where his golf ball had slipped from his hand in his sleep. At breakfast, the golf ball had to be right there with his cereal on his high chair tray. He carried it in his fist all through the morning, and fell asleep with it at nap time, woke again to look for it, carried it through the afternoon, ate with it, took a bath with it, held it while one of his parents read him a story, and clutched it as he dropped off to sleep for the night.
Woe to all of us if the golf ball ever went missing. “Ownie! Ownie!” Gage would whimper. We’re not sure what language he spoke at two, but we have been able to translate “ownie” into “golf ball.”
When Gage’s dad was working in Nebraska on an oil refinery, Brittney decided to take Gage on the train and go visit Zac. Some other time I’ll tell you about our spontaneous drive from Everett to Spokane to help her catch her train when the one in Everett went out of commission.
Not knowing how many golf stores there were in this section of Nebraska, but guessing it was zero, we sent Brittney off with about a dozen golf balls in a little bag, just in case Gage lost his Ownie and the world came crumbling down around him.
As I put the two of them on the train late that night and handed Britt the bags I’d been carrying, the bag carrying the golf balls opened, and golf balls went skittering down the train’s aisle. Had Gage not already fallen asleep, I’m pretty sure he would have fainted at the sight of so many precious Ownies bouncing along the floor.
This is exactly the same sort of obsession God would like us to have with His Word. It should be the first thing we grab when our eyes open in the morning, and we should be so consumed that we can’t leave off long enough to eat breakfast. We should grab little bites of it all through the morning, and during lunch, and throughout the afternoon, and all evening, and ideally, we should fall asleep in the middle of a passage.
Does this sound impossible? It’s not. I know it’s not because at various times in my 40+ years of walking with the Lord, I’ve had that kind of immense hunger stir in me. During those times, I can barely put my Bible down long enough to get anything done. And sometimes, when I’m pouring over a passage and the familiarity of it rises and mingles with a fresh insight and renewed awe, I’ve buried my face in the center of my Bible and said out loud, “Oh, I love you.”
I wish I felt that way always. I wish I could just ignore the demands of my schedule and allow myself the luxury of total immersion in Scripture day in and day out. I don’t suppose I’d get much done, but then again, what could be more important?
Oh, Lord. If my love has cooled, strike a new match and coax it into flame. Make your Words my food, my breath, my reason for rising. Stir that hunger again in me, and don’t let me rest until I’ve satisfied myself in You. Make me fall back in love with the pure beauty and ragged honesty of the letter You’ve left to me. Let everything else drop off and fade away in comparison. Captivate me, Lord.