Last night, my youngest daughter and I read together from a book, and it occurs to me that she’s actually reading. She’s actually reading words.
She’ll never be the same. Once you learn to read, you can’t undo it. You see a word, and you must read it. You can’t refuse. The effects of learning to read are irreversible.
And involuntary. Try it. Look at a word and try not to read it. You just can’t help yourself. You’ve cracked a code; you’ve escaped from a labyrinth and nothing will ever look the same.
It reminds me of a life of faith. The Teacher shows you how to crack the code; you’re out of the maze.
A life of faith irreversibly alters the way a mind sees the world. It shimmers with the radiance of God’s glory, and you interpret everything through the lexicon of God’s love, goodness, and power. At first, like for a young reader, the process is slow and basic. You recognize God in obvious ways, perhaps recounting answers to prayer, emotions felt in worship, or wisdom gained through Bible reading. But then, you find you’re really reading. You can’t help it. You read God in the tiniest moment and see into the life of things.
You’ll discern the truth about this world. Your heart will break, and you’ll want to hug strangers in grocery stores. You’ll start worshiping God when you see an acorn, a seashell, or a cat’s missing eye. You’ll see a spiritual narrative behind even the garbage in the parking lot. You’ll write a blog every single day because you can’t contain the worship and keep it all to yourself.
You’ll want to proclaim things.
That’s the danger of inviting God in. You will learn to read, and you won’t be able to undo it.