One day the mother of a recent college graduate was doing some house cleaning in her daughter's bedroom. Her daughter had since moved out and the room was empty except for a single bed, a treadmill, a fan, and a few boxes of odds and ends; mostly college memorabilia that the daughter had left behind when she moved out. On the walls were some pictures of her friends and famous acquaintances (including the current governor of California) which the daughter had come to know in her short, yet well traveled life. As the mother continued to go through her daughters things while cleaning she noticed a bible. Stuffed inside the bible she found a well worn piece of yellow tablet paper with the following hand printed words.
"This Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.
It's the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's character. Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of Hell disclosed. Christ is it's grand subject; our good. The design and the glory of God its end.
It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of Glory and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who treat lightly it's sacred contents."
When her mother looked up after pondering the words she had just read, she noticed that on the the walls of the bedroom which her daughter had just painted a beautiful burgundy were the following words stenciled in gold. "My soul waits for the Lord more than watchman wait for the morning, more than watchman wait for the morning. By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. His compassions never fail, they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. I say to myself the Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for him."
Her mother then realized that her daughter had captured and understood the essence of life in a way that she never could have adequately communicated. What a love for the Lord her daughter had learned and what depth of being were contained in those words.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8,9 (NIV).
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
The college graduate in this story is now a happily married practicing physician in Western Pennsylvania. She is my daughter.This article may not be reproduced in copy, facsimile, or posted on any webpage, weblog or any other electronic means without express written permission from this author. Steve Sieg -ed.(2005)