“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are so many times that people are careful about picking favorites. Teachers-in-training are often admonished not to play favorites. Parents are told the danger of letting their children know that one is favored. When a favorite is declared, others can feel inferior, angry, put out, et cetera.
Just because we don’t play favorites doesn’t mean that we don’t have favorites, however. That takes place in all sorts of areas of our lives: relationships, duty preferences, jobs, and the like. It even takes place in our faith.
As faithful people, we are all called to follow in the Lord as completely as possible. Yet, we all go about it different ways. Some are inspired by favorite hymns. Others are inspired by spiritual authors. Still others have favorite scripture passages.
It is all right to have favorites, as long as we do not play favorites. There are some people who quote pieces of scripture without even understanding the context of the passage. They just like how it sounds or what it says or what a particular person accomplished. We need to have a deep appreciation of all scripture. At the same time, we can allow ourselves to be inspired by individual passages.
Ralph Waldo Emerson knew that and shares that thought with us today. He encourages us to gather our favorites into a book of sorts so that we can refer to them over and over again. Just as people have a prayer book filled with their favorite prayer cards and other inspirational tracts, we can have a collection of favorite scripture passages to keep us on the straight and narrow.
“Whatever works”. That is a phrase that we hear often in our lives. Do whatever works to keep us on track, to make us better, to get us in school, to get a promotion, et cetera. In our faith life, we need to do whatever it takes so that we remain on the straight and narrow. Do you have favorites in your faith? Collect them. Put them together in one place. Refer to them often.
Referring to them, you will be fueled to proclaim God’s praises to the ends of the earth as a trumpeter who blares his horn!
FAITH ACTION: Think about what inspires you to live your faith and, if it would help, make a collection that you can keep at hand and refer to often.