I am told Where I am is the last book written by Billy Graham. I decided to read this book after being reminded of the one year anniversary of his death. The book features short chapters encompassing the whole of Scripture, beginning with Genesis and continuing on to Revelation. In classic fashion, Graham gives insights into discovering who God is and covers subjects such as heaven and eternity.
Along the way, the book offers a concise history of the human race. Graham highlights each human life has a choice of two paths, to pursue one’s own selfish path leading to destruction or accept God’s gift of deliverance and follow the path leading to eternal life.
Graham’s book speaks often about death and life in the hereafter. It’s 36 chapters and wealth of scripture makes the book an excellent devotional. I found it to be an uplifting read.
Carl Sagan was an atheist who had this to say about the power a book possesses.
“What an astonishing thing a book is,” marveled [Carl] Sagan. “It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you.”
Sagan’s comment certainly explains the desirability of books through the ages. It would also seem to explain the power and effectiveness of the Bible. Its author, God, is not dead and its words are timeless. That being said, one has to wonder why we don’t read the Bible more.
I came across a copy of The Old Man and the Sea while cleaning a bookshelf. A required read in high school, I recalled very little of it. I was anxious to give it another look.
It’s a short story about a Cuban fisherman down on his luck. He’s an impoverished old man who maintains a relationship with a boy.
The boy was once taught to fish by the old man. He repays the elder by finding ways to attend to his sustenance. The two used to fish together before the old man’s string of bad luck caused the boy’s parents to insist their son fish with someone else.
A quote from the book:
“Luck is a thing that comes in many forms and who can recognize her? I would take some though in any form and pay what they asked.”
Hemingway successfully walks a tightrope, offering vivid descriptions while maintaining the flow of the story. He also captures the double-edged sword of angst, which faces the serious fisherman; the plague of drought (not being able to catch any fish) verses hooking the catch of a lifetime (and being able to successfully land it). Finally, there’s the struggle pitting man against beast. The old man possesses seasoned and hardened skill while the fish possesses great strength and power.