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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fiction . . . A Waste of Time?


Ruthie Lewis is an Author, Speaker & Life Coach. She resides in Edmond, OK and is the mother of two amazing grown sons, and a daughter who was a life-long dancer and brought light into the lives of everyone who knew her, and now dances with Jesus.

“Fireflies” is set for official release on Sept. 11.  Until then you can get your pre-release autographed copy on her website: www.RuthieLewis.com





If reading this, it’s a pretty sure bet you love books.  But let me ask you: Do you read fiction? If not, why? Have you ever thought, or heard it said, that reading fiction is a waste of time?

I’ve always been an avid reader but as I walked into adulthood, committed to living a life pleasing to God, I unconsciously tapped into a mindset that fiction was a waste of time and even trashy. In fact, the more time went on, the more I wouldn’t allow myself to read anything that wasn’t emphatically about God and faith. You know, books telling you how you “should” live.

Oh, there were times I would glance at a novel in the Christian bookstore and think boring or waste of time.

And the truth is, at that time, there was little to choose from except “prairie romance.” As my children got older, I had more time to read and found myself actually searching for good books. I began noticing the fiction section at the “Christian” book store growing. I couldn’t help meandering through the section, giving in for a moment long enough to scan a back cover. Can’t even tell you what the book was but as I read the blurb, I was riveted.

Releasing the book back to its space on the shelf, I went searching for the book I’d come for, but couldn’t leave the store’s book section without going back to the novel. As I stood staring at it, it hit me: You loved fiction as a kid. All the books I had read to my own kids were fiction. I carried the book to a nearby chair. Delving into the first pages, I was still trying to talk myself out of spending money on fiction. Money was really tight and I probably shouldn’t have even been in the store in the first place.

Call it a light bulb moment, call it whatever; as my adrenalin pumped, I heard that sweet voice I was so familiar with lighting up that place in my soul. I could almost literally hear and see Jesus as he poured forth yet another parable. I remembered Sunday School stories; I remembered my favorite school teachers were those who had told stories or used powerful analogies - and aren’t the most memorable and effective speakers those who weave in a story or two?

I bounced from the chair, purchased the book (forgetting about the other one) and hightailed it home. As I unveiled the book, allowing the bag to waft to the floor, I landed in my comfy chair and was transported to another place. I don’t remember exactly, but within a couple days, I closed the book washed with a satisfaction I couldn’t describe.

Of course, everybody loves a story. Where had my thinking about fiction come from? Little slivers of religious teaching had carved away at my love of reading, especially fiction. Why in the world would we read wonderful stories to our children, then suddenly rip it away as they become adults. I even know people today that tout, “I don’t read anything but the Bible.” Wonderful; but wow, are they missing out!

Today there is an amazing array of wonderful Christian fiction from young adult, to contemporary, to historical, to Amish, to bite-your-nails-till-they-bleed thrillers, all spilling words of life changing stories. My book shelves are crammed with them, my own novel, “Fireflies” now among them. Maybe this time it will be you who will pull a parable from the fiction section for the first time in years.

Hmmm, I wonder what section of the book store Jesus would wander through if you saw Him at Barnes and Noble today?

2 comments:

Karen Kyle Ericson said...

This is a great post! I agree sometimes we all need an escape from our routines to have our minds opened to things we hadn't considered. Had to chuckle, I tossed my prairie romance books : )

I've been reading a historical novel about Martin Luther by Reg Grant. The times were harsh in society. Women and children were treated badly. But one thing that stands out, was the amount of support Martin got to release the Bible, from within the Catholic Church. Monks and Leaders worked around the Pope to help it happen. Now if it was just a history book I wouldn't remember much : ) And I'd never heard that side of the story.

Karen Kyle Ericson said...

The book is called Storm by Reg Grant, WaterBrook Press... sorry.