The readers of the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette are awesomely friendly. I will occasionally get emails and notes from people telling me they agreed with or found comfort from something I wrote. Other times, I will meet new people and am recognized as that girl that writes religious stuff for the paper. Then, even though we've just met, they'll chat like we're old friends and ask me about my Mom and something I quoted her as saying or ask how the kiddos are at church these days.
It is so cool that people feel like we're already on such familiar terms and are ready to talk about God and life.
I'm assuming that not all you readers always agree with everything I say (bless your hearts) or could even call to mind that many specific things you've read. Still, I feel that we have something special -- not special like we could get manicures together and gossip all day, but we are definitely on a first name basis.
This familiarity formed because every other Saturday morning you scan the paper, notice this and think to yourself, "All right, what's she saying now?" Through your habits of reading the newspaper, we've become friends.
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Psalm 1:1-2 advises us, "Happy those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked, nor go in the way of sinners, nor sit in the company of scoffers. Rather, the law of the Lord is their joy; God's law they study day and night."
Ancient advice on happiness, passed down to us from the Old Testament. But what does this have to do with my reader-appreciation lovefest?
Consider this: If you feel like from reading a pithy 600 words I toss at you with your coffee and bagels on Saturday mornings you've gotten to know me so well that you will ask me about my mother when we randomly meet in Walmart (which, once again, is very cool) consider what reading the word of God -- even as casually as you read the paper -- will do for your familiarity with Him?
We put off reading the Bible because we think we don't have the right attitude, right study guide, right time frame, right highlighting pen or right translation. We wait for an ideal moment of silence or a series to be offered at a local Church to begin. While these are helpful, I bet you didn't "wait for the right moment" to start reading this column. You just did it because it was there and part of your morning routine.
We grow closer to lots of people simply because our habits and routines bring them across our paths -- consider the folks you see every day through work, the grocery store, the gym or your morning coffee run.
How much more important is it to place the one who created us in our routine? The early church is advised, in the Acts of the Apostles, that when it comes to God "the gracious word of his ... can build you up and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated" (Acts 20:32).
As we begin a new year with resolutions for better habits, be sure to put Scripture into your routines. Subscribe to a Scripture meditation each day, so you're reminded when you check your email.
Keep a Bible on your pillow, and open it before you close your eyes. Start with the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and read about the life of Christ. I assure you, if you persist, it'll become your best read of the day.
Follow columnist Alison Griswold at twitter.com/alisongriz. Read her blog at www.teamcatholic.blogspot.com.