Years ago, I discovered that there’s just enough space between the glass and the frame of my dresser-top mirror to hold a sheet of paper in the corner of the mirror. I’ve placed many things there (a few at a time) for inspiration that I see every morning and evening: the Girl Scout Law , a special photograph, or quotes from various sources, most often the Bible.
The thing about the Bible is, in addition to its tremendous religious significance, it’s just some of the best writing ever done! It’s the classic of classics. In fact, it was on the list of classics we could read for book reports in junior high; you could choose any book of the Bible for your book report. (Funny how rarely anyone did that, given that some books of the Bible are even shorter than the oft-chosen The Old Man and the Sea!) The Bible is filled with interesting stories and timeless themes that still relate to our lives today. It’s also the source of thousands of common cultural references and idioms–hiding your light under a bushel, holding out an olive branch, etc. There are many translations that convey its ideas so beautifully in English. And it’s available free online! What a great treasure! The Bible is one of the highlights of visiting Earth, so even if you think you’re not interested in religion, give it a chance! I recommended some of its stories in my article on great chapter books for kids, and they are excellent stories for all ages.
Here, I’m going to share 7 brief passages that particularly inspired me in the past year, each of which had its time on my mirror. Since this is 7 Quick Takes Friday, I’m not going to get into detail about exactly what they do for me personally–you’re not me, so let them speak to you.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
Colossians 3:14, New Living Translation
Do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
2 Peter 3:8, New American Standard Bible
[Jesus said] “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? . . . But seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:25-27 and 33-34, New International Version
[Job said], “But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.”
Job 12:7-10, New International Version
What is the source of conflict among you? What is the source of your disputes? Don’t they come from your cravings that are at war in your own lives? . . . You don’t have because you don’t ask. . . . Come near to God, and God will come near to you.
James 4:1-2 and 8, Common English Bible
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.
Psalm 24:1-2, New International Version
This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you . . .
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”
Isaiah 42:5-9, New International Version
I edited some of these passages to keep only the parts I most need to see at a glance. I recommend reading them in their larger context. There’s so much cool stuff in the Bible!