Life has been pretty busy recently…I am currently only about 10 weeks away from getting married..yeah….currently in the midst of closing escrow on our new house….and in the midst of moving my church office across the street as we will be in construction for about a year and a half.
And you know what that means…packing up books. What a pain. Moving books is a pain. And the more I move them, the more I realize the more I don’t need some of them that sit on my shelf. I mean…really, when was the last time I read some of those books. But man….they look great on those shelves…right?
So realizing that I could do without some of my 2,500 plus books, I decided to pare some of them down so that I could sell them.
This is a tough chore. Very hard to let go of some things, but I realized a lot of it boils down to my pride…my ego. Honestly…I want people to walk into my office, my home…and think…man, Rhett is really, really smart. And that’s so not a good reason to hang onto books.
Why is it that I find a lot of my identity in books? For me it’s books…intellectualism. For you, it might be something entirely different. But we all place our value in some crazy things, and then get build our identity around it. Clothes. Looks. Gadgets. Relationships. For me, it just happens to be books which is probably a weakness for many seminary and graduate students.
And whenever I come to the point that I have put books..my library ahead of other things…such as God, I am reminded of a story from early church history. It is a story surprising that I cannot even locate through Google. So if you can, please let me know.
The early church father Jerome amassed such a great library that he had a dream one night. He appears in his dream before the throne of Christ, with Christ on the throne, and all his books in the background. And God asks him, “Do you love me more than these books.” To which Jerome says, “I love you more.” Jesus then picks up a flog and proceeds to flog Jerome on his back. So much so that the angels tell Him to stop. When Jerome wakes up the next morning he has stripes on his back. He then sells his library and gives all the money to the poor.
Jerome will later on collect a great library, but will be careful to make sure his heart is not in the same place as before.
I can not track the story down right now…but if you can…that would be awesome. It is something I remember from early church history.
And if you can link this story to me, I will send you a free copy of our college band’s worship album.