Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I have always enjoyed reading to my boys each night, and it is something we have tried to maintain. At first I'd read a short book or from one of our story bibles (this one or that one) and then we would pray and say good night. One night they were having a little trouble getting themselves calmed down, so I decided to try something different. After prayer with the lights out, I decided to find a book I could read from one of my Android phone apps. I opened Google Books, and there installed along with the app was Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, perfect. So we started reading it and the kids loved it, wanting more each night. After this we moved to Pinocchio, which was another hit. If you haven't noticed, the common denominator in both of these books is the fact that each of them are free to download!
Now, I told you all that to tell you this; I then moved on to the Kindle app and read another free-be, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, before looking for something a little more edifying for the Christian life. It was then I decided to read to them one of my all time favorites, The Pilgrim's Progress: From This World to That Which Is to Come. Now this one wasn't free, but it was worth every penny.
John Bunyan's classic has been edited and published in many forms, but this one happens to be the best I've seen so far. The language and structure maintains its original beauty while being updated just enough for smoother reading and easier comprehension. The kids had no problem following along, and to my surprise came to understand the allegorical situations rather quickly. They knew poor Christian's burden that so heavily weighed him down was his sin. They understood that it was upon his seeing of the cross that it so effortlessly fell from his back. Yes, I spent little time explaining the different encounters and people he met with.
This was my third time through the book and yet I'm surprised by how much it impacts me still. This is a must read for all Christians. Bunyan so clearly reveals the wonder of Grace, the persistence of sin, and the continual struggle we face to overcome. So many of the situations Christian encounters, I have found myself in as well, but it is the people he meets that amazes me the most. Though it was first published in 1678, Bunyan brings to life so many characters, whom we continue to meet with today. Whether it's Shame, Obstinate, Formalist, Hypocrisy, or Giant Despair, we've met them all and experienced their ways.
Probably the biggest lesson I've learned from The Pilgrim's Progress, is that the Christian life is a journey and not a ride. It can be difficult, and must be purposefully walked, and if you're not battling sin or temptation, then you're not on the right path. It is a struggle. So often I forget that and fall into apathy, simply coasting along.
To reach the Celestial City, we must walk with direction.
But while your traveling, why not read something helpful? The Kindle version is on sale for $0.95