Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tsundoko: Unread Books

Today, I am grateful for another Japanese word not found in the English language... Tsundoko.  

Tsundoko: n. Leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piling up together with other unread books.

In this day environmentally friendly digital books...I still love to buy a book and hold it in my hand. Yes...most of books I actually get "read" are audible, but there is a luxury in sitting down to hold a brand new, unread book. The smell of the bookstore lingers and the crisp feel of the is a unique pleasure. Books are a window to the world.  

The stack of new and unread books is not large at my house...but there are a few.  I can't pass up the bargain book tables at Barnes and Noble. It is a great way to discover a new author...and the quote collections are my downfall.  There is nothing like digging in and finding an inspirational/motivational quote that is new to me. Sweet discoveries. Pure pleasure. 

Tsundoko... new discoveries await...or a re-acquaintance with familiar authors. The stories may be new, but the storyteller feels like an old friend. Follow an author long enough and they become old friends. Yes...tsundoko is a beautiful thing. 

I times...treated certain books within my Bible in the same manner, leaving them unread. My New Testament...(with the exception of but not understood)... has been read to the point of familiarity. I can't always quote passage, but give me a few minutes and I can find it, simply by knowing the most likely places to look, by the authors. 

The Old Testament is a different story. I grew up reading the Proverbs, Psalms and knowing the highlights. The "big stories" are written into my memory, but so much is in between. My college curriculum included "Survey of the Old Testament" with the precious Dr. C. William Ellwanger. Still, I missed so much. 

Details from the Exodus and desert years are really fascinating. The Old Testament prophets...the Judges...and so much more is there, just waiting to be discovered. Jill and I spent two years with "The Story" curriculum with our teens at church on Wednesday nights and I fell in love with the Old Testament. 

The Old Testament is where we become intimate with God's character, His nature and His unfailing love for humanity. Habakkuk...Nehemiah...and so many more full stories to tell...not just segments. Reading beyond the highlights. Praying for big picture understanding. Even well read portions always seem to be new again and deliver something new.  

The Old Testament laws intended to help us live live fuller...and to be healthier. Relationship rules that help us to love Him more and to love "our neighbor" better. It is, also, helps us to understand the New Testament better and the new covenant through the blood of Christ. Seriously...left unread...we are missing some good stuff. 

Hebrews 4:12-13 states:  "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account."  

The entire word of God...not just our favorite parts. 

And another from the Old Testament from Psalm 18:30: "This God—his way is perfect;the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

Today, I am grateful for "tsundoko"...and the chance to open and discover the treasure in those unread books. 

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