(Note: At the risk of revealing our deep, inner dorkiness AND getting spammed with one million terrible emails, I still chose that title. So brave!)
Me: I know you want to go to sleep, but I need to ask you a really important question. It’s really, really important.
Steve: Okay, hit me.
Me: If you could only have – for the rest of your life with no exceptions whatsoever – three books of the Bible, which three would you choose?
Steve: That’s a terrible question.
Me: No, it’s a great one because it will make you prioritize!
Steve: Okay. Psalms. A gospel – probably John. And Revelations.
Me: Um…Revelations? (Pause) Really? Are you sure you don’t want to re-visit that choice?
Steve: No. It’s the perfect choice because if I only had three books I’d want to know what’s coming.
Me: Hmmm…I don’t know that Revelations ever makes “what’s coming” much clearer for me.
Steve: Yes it does, you just don’t like it. Also, it tells us so much about worship. And also, these are my choices, Bo. Leave them alone. What are yours?
Me: Definitely Psalms. A gospel – probably Luke.
Steve: Luke? Why not John?
Me: Because Luke has the Christmas story! I couldn’t live all the rest of the Christmases of my lifetime without the Christmas story.
Steve: But John has “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” and that’s like your favorite scripture.
Me: I know. Sad. Really sad. I’m going to miss John so much. Maybe I could borrow YOUR copy of John?
Steve: No way, sister! You said THREE books only. You said NO exceptions. Borrowing would violate the whole arrangement.
Me: ARGH! This is a terrible question.
Steve: You still have one book left.
Me: (Sigh) I know . Let’s see. I guess Galatians, because I’m reading it right now and it’s changing my life.
Steve: Yeah, but you said it’s changing your life because you’re also reading Deuteronomy. Are you keeping Deuteronomy?
Me: NO! I don’t want Deuteronomy!
Steve: But it’s all about the generations.
Me: Shoot. It is. I want Deuteronomy!
Steve: How about we go a different way here? How about you tell me which books you COULD live without.
Me: Well, I guess maybe 1 & 2 Chronicles because it’s a lot of repeat from Kings…but then we have no “If My people which are called by My name…” We need that verse in America to survive!
Steve: Okaaaaay. Well, how about the Samuels?
Me: (sitting up, aghast and appalled) Are you kidding me right now (tm: Lindsay Parnell)? The story of Israel’s transition from judges to kings? It’s a stage-setting story. Foundational. Essential in every way!
Steve: (Yawn) Okay, Bo, we’ll keep the Samuels.
Me: I suppose – if push came to shove – I could let go of Esther, because it’s kind of isolated and not essential to the rest of the Old Testament.
Steve: “For such a time as this…”
Me: Blast! This is a terrible, terrible question!
Steve: I think I have a fever and I have to speak in Oneighty tomorrow.
Me: I’ll be quiet now. But I’m keeping Esther.
So…it was an enlightening discussion and when I opened my Bible the next morning I wanted to kiss every single page. I also decided to memorize more.
Now, Steve and I wish to pass our misery along to you. Three books. Three books only. For the rest of your life. What will they be? (It’s way harder than you think. Or maybe not. Maybe you’re very decisive or unmarried so you don’t have someone else messing up your choices.)
P.S. Today is Steve’s 46th birthday and I think this post just proves what a terrifically patient and amazing guy he is. Happy birthday, wonderful husband…I love you more than words can say!