Reading, Writing, And Walking With God Essay, Research Paper
I love God. With my entire heart I burn for him. As a freshman in high school He called me, not with words or anything audible, but by his mere presence; a holy desire within my spirit that wants to love his people, and bring them into a romantic love-relationship with Him. The calling was as a whisper at first, just a small urge, almost a whim, but now it has grown into a war cry that rages in my soul.
I’m not sure exactly how literature has affected that, well secular literature; the main influence on my faith has definitely been the Bible. When I was fourteen my pastor said on a Sunday morning, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12) Don’t believe it because I say it, your parents say it, or your friends say it, GET INTO THE WORD AND WORK IT OUT!” So I did. I read the whole thing, all of it, in a year and a half. I learned a lot during that time, and my faith was greatly influenced and my convictions were shaped. I know I subconsciously and even consciously picked out in my mind the things I personally found important to hold on to. Nevertheless I developed a great respect for the Bible and everything it says, and I agree with Gallagher and Lundin that the Bible should be viewed as literature to be best understood. Robert Altar and Frank Kermode offer “ ‘a new view of the Bible as a work of great literary force and authority.’ They even claim that ‘literary analysis must come first’ before all other uses of the Bible. Without prior literary analysis, the other ways of using the Bible will be hopelessly misguided, for unless we have a sound understanding of how the text fits together as a literary work, ‘it will not be of much value in other respects’ ” (Gallagher and Lundin, 66)
I have always enjoyed reading because I am an imaginative person. I will refuse to watch a movie if I have already read the book because I like the way I have it imagined, and I feel the same way about our textbook. I prefer not to read Bedford’s comments after the stories in the text, because I would rather not listen when someone else is telling me what I should think as opposed to my own imagination. Although I
do enjoy reading; I must confess that it is not a hobby of mine. As a matter of fact, I don’t read much at all, other than for classes. Perhaps that is because I am too busy or just distracted.
I’ve never considered the idea of literature in relation to my faith until I began this class, but I believe it is important, no, vital in helping us to love God with entirety. I believe that to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind, means that my mind should be open to all knowledge, giving me more to offer to Him, and more for Him to use in doing His work. “However, not all literature is useful for all purposes. We can use many works of literature for multiple purposes; others may serve only one. Some texts teach, others amuse, others give us joy in the gifts of God. All provide various ways to participate in God’s world.” (Gallagher and Lundin, xxvi / introduction) When anything is written, the author puts part of himself/herself into it. Literature is therefore a reflection of life, illustrating some aspect of it. And whether or not the story is true, we may still learn valuable lessons from it. Reading literature allows us take in an “extra bit of life”, and will help us to live our lives to the fullest. So when I read, it does affect my walk with God. What I read may not impact my beliefs, faith or convictions, but it will give me understanding, appreciation, and knowledge. This knowledge will make me into a better, more “well rounded” person, and it will equip me with even more to give to my Father in heaven. One question that drives me into the depths of literature is this: how can I claim to have a solid faith in God, one that is true and sure, if I know nothing else?