Weightless Word

Driving home Wednesday night, I was mulling over pack weight reductions, and it occurred to me that through laziness and lack of discipline I have been adding 3 oz. more weight to my pack than necessary, with an item that is crucial to have, yet even more crucial to NOT have.

I've always carried a Gideons pocket Bible with me. It seems blasphemous to not carry it, as it contains the answers to all the questions nature poses: why mountains? why maples? why elk? why eagles? why thunderstorms and tornadoes? why death and dying? why my longing for bigness and grandeur and beauty? As the Gideons have printed inside the front cover of my copy:

The 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 is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter. Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its 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 trifle with its sacred contents.

To walk without the answers to these questions is to be lost indeed.

God's Word is crucial to have. But what does this have to do with ounce-counting?

I was convicted of my failures in the discipline of Scripture memorization. I have some passages committed to memory, but as I grow older, they grow dimmer, and I have not trained my mind well to retain what I have learned.

The Word of God is crucial to have, but even more crucial to NOT have. That is, not have it in my hands, but in my heart. The day may come when I am stricken blind, or Bibles become illegal to own (such a day is reality for millions of Christians today). I will need God's Word even more on that day, to sustain me to the end. I need to recommit to memorizing Scripture.

The Gideons called the Bible "the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass." You don't have to work hard to see the analogies for backcountry travelers.

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

That pocket Bible is 3 oz. that I should not have to carry! This weighty Word can be carried weightlessly, not on my back, or in my pocket, but in my mind.