Fiction . . . A Waste of Time?

Ruthie Lewis is an Author, Speaker & Life Coach. She resides in Edmond, OK and is the mother of two amazing
grown sons, and a daughter who was a life-long dancer and brought light into
the lives of everyone who knew her, and now dances with Jesus.

“Fireflies” is set for official release on Sept. 11.  Until then you can get your pre-release
autographed copy on her website: www.RuthieLewis.com

If reading this, it’s a
pretty sure bet you love books.  But let
me ask you: Do you read fiction? If not, why? Have you ever thought, or heard
it said, that reading fiction is a waste of time?

I’ve always been an avid reader but as I
walked into adulthood, committed to living a life pleasing to God, I
unconsciously tapped into a mindset that fiction was a waste of time and even
trashy. In fact, the more time went on, the more I wouldn’t allow myself to
read anything that wasn’t emphatically about God and faith. You know, books
telling you how you “should” live.
Oh,
there were times I would glance at a novel in the Christian bookstore and think
boring or waste of time.

And the truth is, at that
time, there was little to choose from except “prairie romance.” As my children
got older, I had more time to read and found myself actually searching for good
books. I began noticing the fiction section at the “Christian” book store
growing. I couldn’t help meandering through the section, giving in for a moment
long enough to scan a back cover. Can’t even tell you what the book was but as
I read the blurb, I was riveted.
Releasing the book back to
its space on the shelf, I went searching for the book I’d come for, but
couldn’t leave the store’s book section without going back to the novel. As I
stood staring at it, it hit me: You loved
fiction as a kid
. All the books I had read to my own kids were fiction. I
carried the book to a nearby chair. Delving into the first pages, I was still
trying to talk myself out of spending money on fiction. Money was really tight
and I probably shouldn’t have even been in the store in the first place.
Call
it a light bulb moment, call it whatever;
as my adrenalin
pumped, I heard that sweet voice I was so familiar with lighting up that place
in my soul. I could almost literally hear and see Jesus as he poured forth yet
another parable. I remembered Sunday School stories; I remembered my favorite
school teachers were those who had told stories or used powerful analogies – and
aren’t the most memorable and effective speakers those who weave in a story or
two?
I bounced from the chair,
purchased the book (forgetting about the other one) and hightailed it home. As I unveiled the book, allowing the bag to waft to
the floor, I landed in my comfy chair and was transported to another place. I
don’t remember exactly, but within a couple days, I closed the book washed with
a satisfaction I couldn’t describe.

Of course, everybody loves a
story. Where had my thinking about fiction come from? Little slivers of
religious teaching had carved away at my love of reading, especially fiction.
Why in the world would we read wonderful stories to our children, then suddenly
rip it away as they become adults. I even know people today that tout, “I don’t
read anything but the Bible.” Wonderful; but wow, are they missing out!

Today there is an amazing array of wonderful Christian fiction from young adult, to
contemporary, to historical, to Amish, to bite-your-nails-till-they-bleed
thrillers, all spilling words of life changing stories. My book shelves are
crammed with them, my own novel, “Fireflies” now among them. Maybe this time it
will be you who will pull a parable from the fiction section for the first time
in years.
Hmmm, I wonder what section
of the book store Jesus would wander through if you saw Him at Barnes and Noble
today?