Landmines That Save Souls - Boaz Koat 2023-10-27 10:31:37.0 / 122 Hits
In a book I read a few months ago, there was an article with a particularly striking title. It was a short column titled "The Self-Killing Assassin". Below is an excerpt.
C. S. Lewis said that reading is like meeting an ego-killer. Reading is not about making the ego smarter, it's about killing the ego. When the ego dies, life becomes more abundant. The purpose of reading is not to acquire information and use it the way you want but to meet the assassin lurking in the book. When I am stabbed by the assassin, I have a powerful experience of love, religion, grief, etc. When you meet a great spirit, your small self dies and you gain abundant life. Good reading causes happy pain. Humans love the familiar, but we also crave the larger world. Sometimes we like to brag about how smart we are, but at other times we want to kill the old self with an assassin and emerge with a new self that sees the world through a multilayered lens.
I think it's true that most of us, including myself, have a purpose in reading a book to get something out of it. But the idea of killing the stubborn, hardened, unwilling-to-change self was very refreshing. I can tell you from experience that when you encounter a good book, it changes your thinking and perspective, which in turn changes your values and behavior.
I admit that the many books I have read over the past 30 years have shaped me into the person I am today. Among the many books, it is the Bible that has had a tremendous impact and change on my present and future lives. In a way, the Bible is like an anti-tank landmine that changes and saves a soul.
The moment you step on it, your previously held values and standards of living are shattered. It's hard to describe, but I think it's like a tectonic shift in the soul: what was once high and exalted is extinguished and trampled, and what was once unable to stand up rises like a dragon, and then it is seen and heard in a whole new light. And at last, as if in confession, it can say. "My soul is clothed with grace, my grievous sins are lifted, and this sorrowful world is reconciled to heaven."
I think I have stepped on a soul-saving mine in the Bible, which has clearly and distinctly benefited my soul. Especially blessed and happy are the neighbors around me who have encountered such a mine. Raise your hand if you have stepped on that mine~.