But over the years, few Bibles have matched my first preaching Bible! Now, to be clear, when I call it a “preaching” Bible, I simply mean that it is the first Bible I preached from regularly. The Baptist Student Ministry Director at Dallas Baptist University bought a slimline English Standard Version Bible for me upon my graduation. As I moved to Garland that Summer to begin full-time ministry at Freeman Heights, this became my “go-to” Bible.
Since then, I have been through a lot with this Bible. About three years ago, I decided it was time to get a new Bible. My old one was literally falling apart. I had pages taped together, there were parts of the text worn down from studying, crying, and pointing at certain passages over almost 10 years of use.
So I have been on a journey to find my new “go-to” Bible. I haven’t found it yet- but I still believe it is out there!
But a couple of weeks ago, I got this old Bible back out. And as I have carried it and studied it, I can’t help but think about why it is in the shape it is in.
This Bible is scuffed up and torn up because I literally took it everywhere with me. I ministered to recovering drug addicts on the street with this Bible. It sat out in the rain as I preached to kids at an apartment complex. It went with me to some scary places, and to many camps and pulpits around the state of Texas.
It has coffee stains and salsa stains from late night conversations and prayer meetings with friends and family. The pages are literally worn down from me preaching with it- because I used to preach in unique contexts that do not have a pulpit.
And the realization hit me- my Bibles don’t wear like that anymore…
They go from my desk, to my house, to the pulpit.
This breaks my heart. I want to have the passion and zeal I had fresh out of college! Before the years of ministry and life beat me into this “professional” that I often find myself being today.
I ordered a new Bible last week. It is really nice, and I’m excited to get it. But I’m hoping it doesn’t stay “nice.” I’m hoping that in a few years, it will bear the marks of a well-used, well-traveled book. And that as I look at its marks, dings, and scratches- that I will be filled with joy as I reflect upon the work God has done through His Word!