About a year or two ago a friend gave me a book to read. It sounded very interesting, it was a thriller and love story and mystery and supernatural all rolled into one. I don’t know the authors name, and the name of the book slips me at the moment, but that’s really not that important for what I have to tell you.
Once I got the book I noticed that the front cover was marked up, the name had been crossed off and the authors name was removed and my friend wrote in there name. Odd I thought, but what ever. Maybe my friend just likes to deface their books, this was the first one they have given me to read. So I dived it to it.
As a read the book I noticed that every now and than a word or line was blacked out. Once again I thought how odd. I am one of those readers that takes very good care of the books I read. I am not a highlighter either in my enjoyment books or in my books on faith, I don’t highlight my bible, and I hate it when I purchase used books and the person for me not only highlighted by also wrote in the margins. But some people did do this, and my friend must be one of them because as I read on I started to notice that they began to replace names and word and complete sentences with there own. Characters that appeared on one chapter were completely removed from others, names of towns and cities changed from page to page and vital facts about the characters would be altered. In one chapter the main character would be betrayed as a loving and caring person and in the next the very same acts would be betrayed as violent or unloving. It was hard to truly understand the meaning and message of the story or to even follow the story. It was if each and every sentence could be a stand-alone, no need for anything prior or following. It was driving me nuts!
A few weeks after I received the book my friend asked me what I thought of it. Well, I told them, I said it was hard to read with all the revisions, mark ups and deletions of the original text. That I found it hard to understand and even harder to read. There response was just as baffling to me, they responded with “Well I decided that I wanted to make the story mine, that it was my personal understanding of the story”. I asked them what that meant, I said the author worked hard on writing the story, and that they, the author, had a plan and that by reworking the story, removing parts and changing details they had destroyed the original intent of the author.
They just looked at me as if I was from mars. They just didn’t understand. My friend replied “But I paid for it, it is mine now!” What could I say, I tried to explain that all they paid for was the right to read it, not to take ownership of it, that you are not the creator of it, you are just the enjoyer of the creation, as it was meant to be enjoyed.
But I let it go, I told them I would finish the book, and than we could talk. So I went back to reading this mess of a storyline. As I read on I found that my friend had removed a complete chapter. It was just torn out, like it didn’t matter to the complete story. I lost a whole unit, a whole section of the over all story, yet my friend just told me it really didn’t matter, that part of the story was just “filler” nothing that made a difference, that they just didn’t like what the author was saying, so the tore it out.
I did finish the book, it took me a long time because I kept re-reading parts of it, trying to fill in the gaps, but I did get to the end. Well in truth there was no end, my friend tore out the last few pages and glued in some blank pages. And written on the top of each page was “Make your own ending”.
I was at a loss for words. When me and my friend got together again I gave them back the book. They asked how I liked it, they stated that it was there favorite book, and that they reread it often, making changes to it as they see fit. I replied that I truly did not enjoy the book, that I found it to be incomplete and only a shadow of the authors intent. In fact I found it to be a waste of my time.
My friend looked hurt, but than there face lit up, and they said, well ya, I should have thought of that, you probable want your own copy to mare up and edit. What was I thinking… Why should you want my version of the story when you can create your own.
I just shook my head and gave a heavy sigh and said, no, that’s not it at all, What I want is the book at it was intended, the book that was written by the author to read with out your own personal input, not mine or anyone else a a matter-of-fact. I want to read the story from start to end with out having names and places and events changed or removed. I want the story told as it was meant to be told.
My friend just didn’t get it. They just looked blankly at me, and eventually said “How sad that you don’t want to use your own mind, your own imagination.”
That was the last book I ever borrowed from them, but I have offered mine, with one rule, do not mark them up and read them from start to end as they are written. They do not take me up on my offer to much, they say it is to restricting. They feel oppressed and enslaved.
In truth I feel sorry for them, they can’t enjoy a story or event unless they create it the way they want it. The beginning, middle and end has to be to there design, there liking. It’s a control thing, they have to feel the power of control over the story. How truly sad.
The story above is not true, not really really true. The truth of the matter is this, they story is not based on one, but many, some I personally know and some I do not. The book does not exist, as far as I know and I never received such a book from anyone. The conversation, as it is written, never took place. But the intent of the story and conversation are based in fact.
What fact or facts is this based on, what story or stories is this take from? The facts are from my life and conversations with friends and others. The stories are from God.
In today’s world of secularism and liberalism there are many who do as my fictional friend does. They remove the lines in the bible they do not like, they rework the parts that can be used as justification and skip over or tear out the parts that contradict there actions and desires. And the worst part of it all, they feel they are doing so for the betterment of themselves. Not for others, because a liberal or individualistic person can not serve others, they may try, they may even perform acts but in truth they are serving themselves. They deny the divine author His authorship, they rewrite salvation history in to a self-serving history.
If I would have taken my “friend” up on there offer to write my own version of the book, they, my friend, would have been offended. My tru
ths would have conflicted with there, my storyline would have diverted from there’s. My impressions and importance would have negated there’s.
One true author has written for us the true Salvation History, He has provided for us a perfect story, one of compassion and understanding. Yet some try to rewrite it, some try to embellish it and “improve” it. And some try to make the story fit there lives, try to trim it and reshape it to fit in the the small spot left on the bookshelf in their soul.
I do feel sad for them, I do pity them but most of all I do pray for them.
|1 Peter 1:18-19“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
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