A sea of books . . . an ocean of both knowledge and imagination is spread out before me. Like mighty waves swelling halfway to the high ceiling, shelves rise from the navy carpeted floor. With grace my fingers gingerly glaze over the titles, my eyes following along. The abundance of choices engulfs me and I wonder which portal I should enter first.
I could travel back to the 1960s on a hot summer day in Washington D.C. to join a dense crowd of thousands at the Lincoln Memorial. There I would listen in awe and shout out cheers as Martin Luther King, Jr. passionately delivers his monumental “I Have A Dream” speech - an oration that would change the course of American history.
I could spring into a zone of fantasy, where wardrobes become doorways to other lands and animals talk as freely as humans. Or I could burst into light-speed to a galaxy far from our own, discovering new planets and creatures as if they were merely dwelling in an unknown country across the sea.
With Christopher Columbus I could traverse the Atlantic on a Spanish merchant ship and prove once and for all that the world is indeed round. I would witness the dangers he encounters and praise the hand of Providence when at last we reach our destination.
In France I could visit the Eiffel Tower or gaze at the majesty of mighty stained-glassed cathedrals. I could dine in an elegant outdoor setting and at night I would watch the city of Paris light up like a pine tree at Christmas time. Millions of multi-colored lights shining like jewels in a dark mine.
In 19th century England I could sip tea in a Victorian mansion or explore the streets and corner shops of London with suited gentlemen and delicate ladies in fluffed dresses.
Investigating a crime scene, I could match wits with a brilliant detective and set out to expose a perpetrator of injustice.
What if I were to sit down in a vast green pasture with a handsome shepherd boy named David, listening intently as he sings psalms to the God of his ancestors? Soothing melodies would flow like a gentle stream from his hand-held harp, and I would close my eyes and praise along with him.
Next I might accompany the Apostle Paul on his missionary journeys and stand by him as he plants church after church in Gentile cities that have never before heard the name of Jesus.
I could voyage with wise men as they search out a virgin-born child. I could sit on a mountaintop as Jesus teaches the Sermon on the Mount, or grip the stern of a tiny fishing boat and watch in wonder as He stills a furious sea. I would weep with His mother as He is led up a hill, stumbling from loss of blood and the weight of a heavy wooden cross on his freshly scourged back.
But then I would stand at the entrance to His tomb as the earth rumbles and the guarding soldiers fall faint. And I would watch as He later drifts up to Heaven above and promises to return sometime soon.
And then perhaps, I could even catch a glimpse of what life will be like for those who are left on earth after He returns, and the courageous saints that that time will produce.
All without even setting foot outside the library.
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