More than a month ago we took our son to college, dropping him off many hours away, leaving him with clothes, snacks, our love and a lot of advice.
His mother was thorough and specific on everything from hygiene to nutritional options to TV viewing.
I kept it simple.
“Read your Bible,” I told him.
He assured me he would, and in the weeks that followed I repeated my advice whenever we had the chance to chat.
Bible reading, I have found over the years, is a good thing. A helpful thing. An important thing.
I don’t need to tell most of you about its spiritual benefits, but there is more. I love the writing. I love the stories. I love the insights.
You can read the Book of Romans five times, for example, and each time it reveals a new point.
The Books of I and II Samuel are like Lord of the Rings adventures.
The Book of Judges gives us Samson, who was the Rambo of his time.
Using foxes to set a field afire? Creative.
Smiting a thousand Philistines with a jack-ass jawbone? Lethal.
These stories and more are in my Bible and your Bible. They are also in my son’s Bible, presented and inscribed by his grandfather years ago – a family tradition that goes back almost a century.
My son, however, is a bit more modern. He does most of his reading from a computer. He also says he’s been getting much of his regular Bible advice from a devotional book given by the family of a friend.
I understand that.
Still, I have tried to tempt him back to his old-school testaments. Each morning I text him a Bible verse, sometimes with the suggestion that there is more to this passage if he would care to review it.
He kindly acknowledges, but did not really respond ... until Thursday.
That was when he pulled out his Bible in preparation for the first meeting of a campus Bible study.
That was when he sat on the edge of his dorm bed to leaf through its pages.
That was when he discovered that someone had slipped U.S. currency of a respectable denomination between the pages of certain passages.
It pays to read your Bible, indeed.
Naturally, he texted me to report his discovery.
Keep reading, I advised. There is also a four-leaf clover somewhere in those pages because college success often takes a bit of luck.
The smaller shamrock will be harder to find, but if you seek it, you’ll find it. Matthew 7:7, I believe.