As Eli escapes from Carnegie a young girl accompanies him. She sees him read the book every day, but she does not know what it is, as she does not know how to read. She asks him to read to her and hears the beauty of what is in the book.
As they travel west she finds out he has been traveling for 30 years carrying this book. She asks him, "Thirty years of traveling, did you ever think you were lost?" He says no and she asks how he knows the way. Eli replies that he walks by faith, not by sight. (Spoiler, that is a key phrase to this movie if you haven't seen it yet.)
Eli was entrusted with the Book and he was protected in his journey to get it to a place of safety. He read this book every day for strength and guidance. When you get to the end of the movie, you see that he not only read the book daily, he ingested it. The Book was his daily food; his very life and existance.
God has given us this same Book. This Book of life; the Book of Spirit and Truth. He has entrusted us with this same knowledge and hope to give to a lost and dying world. Our first calling in life is to freely give to others the hope that has been given to us. As we read the Word and ingest it's life-giving message we are to be like rivers of living water overflowing the banks and sharing it for all to hear.
The thing is though, that at times we grow weary in doing well. Or we fall into a routine, where our daily existance is just doing the same ol', same ol'. We read the Bible because it is habit. Let's get these ten verses out of the way and then we can go about our daily business. Let's mumble a quick prayer and get onto the things that are really pressing. As Eli says in the movie, "In all those years I got so caught up in reading it and carrying it that I forgot to live by what I had learnt from it."
We do that sometimes too. We figure that as long as we have read it, it must be coming through in all we do. Because we 'carry' this book, we must be living a Godly life and be beyond reproach. We forget that living as a Christian is more than spouting verses at people. It is loving others, living a joyful life, sharing the hope that has been given to us. It is not ours to hoard, or ours to say, we have received it, now that is the be all and end all of it. We are to let His light so shine through us...
This Book is to be our book. This book of life and hope and truth. We are to be as it says in 2 Corinthians 3:2. Paul says to the Christians there that they are a letter, written in their hearts, known and read by all men.
I try daily to live a life that will glorify God and draw people to Him, but more often than not I fail. Instead of the Book of Gail being the Bible, I am more often the Book of Chicken Little or The Memoirs of Eeyore. I worry too much and think the sky is falling!
But I am learning daily to 'be' rather than just to do. To live a life pleasing to God. To let the fruit of the Spirit grow in me so other's can taste and see that the Lord is good. Not to just carry the Book, but to live by what I have learned and am still learning.
I want at the end of my life to be like it was at the end of Eli's. He had carried out the mission that was given to Him. He had overcome the obstacles in his way and had brought the Word to a place where it would once again be shared with others. His prayer at the end of it all was this...
"Dear Lord, thank you for giving me the strength and the conviction to complete the task you entrusted to me. Thank you for guiding me straight and true through the many obstacles in my path. And for keeping me resolute when all around seemed lost. Thank you for your protection and many signs along the way. Thank you for any good that I may have done, I'm so sorry about the bad. Thank you for finally allowing me to rest. I'm so very tired, but I go now to my rest, at peace. Knowing that I have done right with my time on this earth. I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith."
And thank you Lord that you have entrusted to me the Book of Gail, that I might give it freely to others. If this is your prayer also, insert your name here...The Book of __________.
Photo by Jason Jacobs, https://www.flickr.com/photos/jijake1977/42483087694