The Word becomes toxic

Categories: Stories

I’ve gotten (back) into biking again. 

I’ve had 3 distinct seasons in my life where I really enjoyed biking. Once when I was in 21, living in suburban New York City. I had a mountain bike that was my primary mode of transportation. On my days off, I’d hop on and ride out as far as I could in one direction until I was exhausted… Then I’d have to ride back home.

The next time I got into biking was in my later 20s. Again, a mountain bike was steed. I’d rage all over the city of Grand Rapids; urban raging, I’d call it. I remember icing at the end of my long rides was a climbing up one of the longest steepest hills in Grand Rapids while keeping it in my hardest gear.

I haven’t done much biking since then until recently. My equipment and attitude aren’t quite so aggressive as it used to be.

Today, I’m riding a tall hybrid-style bike around Brushy Creek a couple of days a week. I also attach a kid’s seat and ride my son Harvey around a lot. He loves it and we have fun together.

The other day, I was powering up the Brushy Creek trail, which is about 15miles of crushed stone pathway that winds along Hairy Man Road. I was making good time, when I passed a stone sitting area (there are a few along the path) and something caught my eye…

It was a book sitting along on top of the stone bench.


So I squeezed off the brakes and stopped to take a closer look. I pulled back around and looked closer at why this book caught my attention: It was an abandoned (or forgotten) Bible.

I have a natural sympathy for Bibles. I don’t necessarily hold the book itself as sacred but the Words and it’s function to me, give Bibles more meaning than any other book. I’ve been known to buy clearance Bibles that have physical defects just because I felt sorry for it. (I still like that pocket faux-leather ESV I found for 70% that had miscut pages. And I once got a Journaling Bible that had 30 Psalms missing out it.)

Forgotten Word

I saw that this was a youth Bible and I imagined that whoever lost it, was maybe stopped for a devotional time and somehow just forgotten it. I was concerned for them because we don’t need more excuses in our lives to ignore reading the scriptures and “I lost my Bible!” is a pretty good one.

It had rained for a few days before and it was looking pretty shabby. I reached over and opened the cover hoping to see a name or contact but, despite all the other markings that indicated good use, “The Bible Belongs to:” was blank. (Let that be a lesson, kids!)

I started to flip through it to see if there was maybe a card or insert that might tell me something about the owner. I thought about picking it up and putting into my backpack and was so focused on the mystery that I didn’t really see them was crawling up my arm…


They were all over the book and now running up my arm and one of them must of sounded the alarm (they emit a scent that tells to attack) and I was getting stung. I pulled my arm back up off the book and ants were chomping down into my hand as I wiped them off. I flicked the last little pharmacy viagra pfizer bugger into the woods and looked back down at the Bible which was now covered in swarm of angry fireants.

“Well, this book is not coming home with me,” I concluded. “And it’s probably not getting back to whomever lost it either.”

Reluctantly, I remounted and heading out. I gave one last look at the Bible as I accelerated away.

Hebrews 2:1 warns us that we must pay close attention to what we have heard so that we don’t drift away from it. How do we pay close attention to The Story? One of the best ways is to soak daily in scripture. Otherwise, we may drift away or in other words, lose our bearings.

When we neglect our Story, the enemy can place fiery obstacles in our way. We might find ourselves getting anxious or insecure about reading the Bible; believing that we don’t have time or that we can’t/don’t understand it.

After a while of neglecting, the Word may actually feel toxic and we think we don’t need it or we don’t want it.

But the Story is life. It’s God’s living Word. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the physical book is alive but that Story contained with it is Life.

Without it, we get lost.

Forget it and it seems unnecessary.

Neglect it and it may begin to feel toxic.

It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out. ― C.S. LewisThe Screwtape Letters




Author: Simon Guevara