Reading Is Fundamental

Ren Oakenfull
Ren Oakenfull

I read. A lot. Right now I’m reading three books, blogs, twitter, facebook, emails, texts. I have a hunger to learn all that I can. I believe there is wisdom in books. I’m married to a reader and my four kids are readers. We read.

So why did it bother so much when a person in our church said, “You know us Hispanics, we don’t read.” It bothered me on levels I guess. One, is that there is still prejudice in our country. While we may have a half African American president, there are still times like last week when I went into a store whose sales clerks didn’t greet me but greeted the other woman who came in and asked her if she needed help finding anything. Funny how the same clerk looked shocked when I was checking out came and asked, “Was anyone helping you?”, and I replied, “No, everyone was too busy to even greet me, knowing that I was the only person in the store at the time.” It’s not lost on me that these things still happen. So when ignorant blanket statements about Hispanics are made by Hispanics themselves it makes me angry on a certain level.

Two, if in fact we are called to be followers of Christ but profess not to read, then our knowledge of him is limited and based on what we’ve heard rather than what we know. This is a dangerous place to be because you can be fooled into thinking anything. If you don’t know your rights in the kingdom then you can’t exercise them. It becomes a never-ending circle of ignorance.

Three, it excuses you to remain ignorant and on a level lower than you were intended to live. This is not kingdom living. This is merely existence on the planet. Reading is a gift that many were not given. There are people who would love to know how to read. You are throwing the gift of reading away as a casual thing. Reading can change your life.

So let’s stop bragging about how we hate to read and begin to access the gift of reading and get out of the self-imposed pit of ignorance.