Then when I was 20 an acquaintance gave me a modern-language New Testament, which he “guaranteed” would change my life. Again I lost interest after only a few pages, and the book sank to the bottom of the clutter in my closet.
A year later, disillusioned with life, I excavated that New Testament and tried again. This time was different. This time I was starving for answers. The Gospels were simple and clear, and Jesus’ ideals rang wonderfully true. I found myself picking up that book several times a day, and then I couldn’t put it down. Some parts, like the accounts of miracles, I wanted to believe but wasn’t sure I should. Other parts made me squirm. I wanted not to believe those, but found that impossible. The book knew me. Things I read there shadowed me. My thoughts took on a new tone, a different quality. Eventually I realized that my self-talk had become a dialogue, sometimes between me and the Bible, and sometimes between me and the God I still wasn’t sure I believed in—a sort of informal, stream-of-consciousness prayer.
That dialogue has been going on for over 40 years now. Through it I have come to better understand myself, God, and the world around me. I can’t imagine a life without it, and I can’t wait to find out where it takes me next.
1. Genesis 4:18–5:32