I used to like reading. I still do but the moments when a good book informs, develops and relaxes me are few and far between. Why the change?
In a usual week I chair or participate in at least five boards or committees. These can be for any of the SPD’s institutions, departments or services, the GC and the unions. It is not uncommon to have more than 200 pages to read in preparation for each of these meetings. One meeting recently had 435 pages. These consist of proposals for new ventures or ministries, reports on activities, financial statements and minutes. Some require a quick read; others demand thought, analysis and opinion. The volume shows that Church entities take their purpose seriously. Thankfully for the trees, the vast majority of the pages are on a computer screen!
On top of this, I keep up-to-date with Adventist Record, Adventist World, Review and local conference or mission newsletters that come regularly to my desk. Not to mention 100 or more emails each day.
Reading for work makes the eyes weary. I concur with Solomon, “Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12 ESV).
I like books on theology, leadership and innovation. I have carried one of these around on planes with me for eight years and still have not completed it. So, when someone gives me an article to read, or a book to comment on, I graciously accept it and have every intention to read it, but . . .
No matter how much I have to read I always start the day in my favourite Book. The Bible strengthens, encourages and nurtures me. After all, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy to the arch enemy, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:8 ESV).