Living by the Highlights

I’ve been thinking of another book lately, and in doing so, I pulled out some of the books I’ve read in the past thirty-plus years to get memorable quotes. As you see with the picture, I have quite a stack! Not sure how long this book will be, but it brought something to mind:

Do I live by the highlights in my life?

I’ve always been a highlighter or underliner when reading. (Of course, as a librarian, I must give the disclaimer that that would only be in my personal copies). When I was in school, I underlined in my books and then studied those portions for tests.

However, I carried that tendency with me even when a test was not required. Highlighting helped me to quickly go back and find something I remembered reading months or years prior. When I think about it now, I realize that I come from a long line of underliners. Both my parents used highlighters and pens when reading. Maybe it’s just in my genes.

Whatever the case, I find the habit a cause for me to ponder the influence of those books, those words of wisdom on my life. Did the underlining really cause me to take their lessons to heart?

I’ve always enjoyed reading Elisabeth Elliot. One of her quotes made it’s way into the flyleaf of my Bible:

If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it is because pieces will feed a multitude, while a loaf will satisfy only a little lad.*

Even as I typed it out from my Bible, I knew what book it was from, as it’s one I’ve poured over multiple times as a single woman. Elliot’s struggles in waiting on the Lord’s will in relation to Jim Elliot echoed mine, and she was a great source of comfort and wisdom in my pre-marriage years.

Through that quote, I gave God permission to break me, that I might serve him more faithfully. It was a hard life-lesson, but worth the pain.

So, there you have it. One highlight that I’ve carried around for over thirty-five years.

What highlights are you living by?

Though I have a stack from countless books, I would easily have many times that amount from one book alone — The Good Book. I loved holding and looking at my dad’s Bible. I can still feel the pages in my hand — so thin, so lovingly underlined and highlighted. I remember praying that my Bible might be like that for my children.

God’s highlights are the best by far.

Make sure those from man stand up to the test of those by God. What do people see you living by? Check your highlights.

Grace and Peace

*Elliot, Elisabeth. Passion and Purity. USA: Fleming H. Revell, 1984. p. 39.

Let me hear from you! I'd love your feedback on this post.