New chapter, or new book?

By Gerry Lewis | Published Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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I am a reader, and I come from a family of readers. There is nothing like getting so caught up in a story that you can’t wait to turn the page – until you get to the final page.

Then, there is nothing like a new book. That new book brings new possibilities. What am I going to learn? How is the author going to challenge me? Make me laugh? Make me cry?

I’m not sure right now whether I have started a new chapter or a new book. But one thing is for sure: the page has turned.

It is January, a new semester is beginning, and, in my house, it is irrelevant.

I started kindergarten in 1966 and remained constantly in school until the completion of my master’s degree in 1988. So I was well-accustomed to school schedules from the student perspective.

Overlapping that time period, my Sweetie became my Mrs., and her job as a school teacher/counselor continued from 1984 until her retirement in May of 2013. So I was well-accustomed to school schedules from the spouse perspective.

Overlapping that, we became parents. Favorite daughter started kindergarten in August of 1993, and we have had at least one of our kids in school until favorite son graduated from college just about a month ago. So for 20 years, I have been accustomed to school schedules (and payments) from the parent perspective.

What I am saying is that for the first time in 47 years, no one in my house is going to school. Ahhhhhh! What am I going to do?

Turn the page.

Sometimes when I am reading in bed at night, I start to get sleepy. I’ll get stuck on one paragraph and read the same thing over and over until I just give up, close the book and go to sleep. Sometimes life is that way. We get stuck. We get tired. We do the same things over and over, making no progress. What’s the solution? Pause, rest and turn the page.

Sometimes it seems we have come to the end of something significant (like something that has ended after 47 years), and there is not another page to turn in this story. What’s the solution? Pick up the next book.

I have been accused of having a philosophy that “he who dies with the most books wins.” That’s not true, but I do have a lot of books and I keep buying more.

I sometimes get asked, “Have you read all the books on your shelves?” No, but I plan to. I plan to keep reading because I can’t wait to see what I will learn next. And I plan to keep living out the story God is writing in my life because I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Our lives matter so much to God that He keeps writing new chapters (and even new books).

What’s keeping you from turning the page?

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association headquartered in Decatur.

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