Do you know what I love? I love it when I happen upon the inside pages of some one's Bible, and they are well worn and marked up heavily. It almost feels as if I've caught a glimpse of a personal journal. It's a beautiful sight. The only way to make a Bible look like that is by spending hundreds of hours studying it.
Like a good baseball glove, it takes a whole lot of use to break in a Bible.
I always have a slight hesitation about marking up my own Bible because it's so permanent. Often times I find myself writing notes in pencil because of my insecurity. After all, what if a verse speaks to me now, but not so much, next year? And aren't ALL of God's words important? And didn't we learn to never write in our textbooks in elementary school? What if the highlighter is the wrong color? What if in a year I decide to highlight all of the promises of God in pink, but I've already used that color the previous year for a verse about salvation? Will it throw my whole system off, and will I have to start again? I know that I'm probably the only one that over-analyzes Bible marking, but all of that is changing now. I have a whole new mindset on the matter.
When I get old, I want my kids to be able to thumb through the pages of my favorite Bible, and find a goldmine of hand written notes, highlighted passages, and encouraging scriptures. I want them to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I LOVED reading it. I want them to know which verses I clung to in times of distress, and which verses really challenged me. I want it's highlighted passages to intertwine with the events of my life. I want it to give a small glimpse of my journey, and the comfort and encouragement I found in the scriptures during each season of my life.
I want my daughters to see that I treasured the words of Proverbs 31, and Titus 2. I want my son to find wisdom in the book of Proverbs, and encouragement in the Psalms. I want them to read the notes on the back pages of my Bible about topics that were important to me. I want them to see that I hung on every word. Perhaps it will have stains or small tattered pages from reading it at the breakfast table. Perhaps it will have old magazine clippings or inspirational poems tucked into it's pages. Maybe it will still have the handmade bookmarks my children give to me from time to time.
Like anything else that gets better with age, time will only tell what the finished product will look like. Frankly, the only thing that matters to me is that my children know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Bible was my most prized possession.