I love to read. Reading inspires me, excites me, teaches me and it's just fun. I can learn about places and people. It helps to expand my awareness of God and His world. I can even learn about what God is doing in His world. I love to read. Of course, I only enjoy reading what I want to read.
A couple of years ago I received a tablet (Asus, not Big Chief or Tylenol) as a gift. I wanted one for several reasons. One big reasons was that I could get a Kindle app on it. Buying books on the Kindle and having a bunch of books to carry with me on one electronic device seemed like a good idea. That way, when I went somewhere I would not have to carry 5 or more books with me to read. That may sound excessive to some of you for an overnight trip, but I just don't know what kind of mood I'll be in (reading wise).
One of really cool options for the Kindle is that, if you live near a library that supports it, you can actually borrow books from the public library and read them on your electronic device. That sounded like really good news to me. I started calling public libraries and found out that many do not have this technology yet. The ones that do require you to actually have a library card to check out the books on your Kindle and you have to go to the library to get a card. That's not too big of a deal, but I live (as far as I know) about 2 hours from a library like that.
I've been meaning to do this for a while (OK, 2 years). I was in Mobile yesterday and actually went to the library, got a card and I've checked out a book on my Kindle. Here's the thing. I may have found an excuse not to take the time to go by the library, fill out the forms, and figure out how to use this Kindle library thing if I had not been doing my year of firsts. Today, my first is I've checked out a book electronically on my Kindle and have started reading it.
One thing I found out when I went to the Mobile library was that a card was free for people living in the surrounding counties. So, asks I, what are the surrounding counties to the north and east. The farthest one is Conecuh says the library people. I smile (with my mouth full of teeth) and say, "I live about 7 miles from the Conecuh line over in Covington county. The library people say that I can still get a card but it will cost me $20. And that's where they get you.
I ended up talking to about 3 people. One to find out the details of this arrangement. One to ask for a card and was told where to get the forms to fill out. And one to actually get a card from once I presented my filled out forms. I did mention to each of them that I only lived about 7 miles from Conecuh county. Each of them smiled and said, in that case, it would be $20. I actually measured it on the drive home and I live 6 miles from the Conecuh line (not that this bothered me or anything). I understood the situation clearly the first time. Why did I keep bringing it up? I was hoping I would run into someone that would make an exception for me since I lived so close.
Well, it's still a great deal and it's fair. I do live outside the area and I don't pay any local taxes for that area. It's really generous of them to allow me to do this. What I started thinking about as I was driving home is how we (I) as Americans sort of expect people to bend the rules for us. I know the rules are for others, but I would love for them to be bent (read broken) in my case.
The dangerous thing here is that God does not bend His rules for us. Too many people, it seems to me, think God will. They (read we or I) think something along these lines. I know what I did was wrong, but:
We really love each other
I was busy
I was frustrated
I had a bad day
I have a good heart.
It's helpful to remember that God does not play favorites. We do reap what we sow (in positive and negative ways). There is One (Jesus) who has kept all the rules and will give us His righteousness when we belong to Him. Praise God for His grace. Now, I think I'll go read....
I feel good about today's first..
OK, OK, I actually did this one yesterday. There, I don't want to break that truth telling rule.
Glad that there is grace for the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. Jesus lived a perfect life
3. Nik Ripken's book, "The Insanity of God"