Charles Finney: Grandpa And The Book

Monday, April 5, 2021 - by Charles Finney

Job 19-23: Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! 24 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!

A middle aged man was walking home one Friday. Instead of taking his company bus he decided to walk up the mountain road ,see the beautiful sunset and take a train on the other side. His time calculation went wrong and it became dark, he was still on the inclined mountain road. While walking hurriedly he noticed shadow of a man standing near a dim incandescent lamp post.

By his standing posture he looked like an old man. He was wearing a baggy cloak seem to have made a century ago. He was holding a book in his hand. The middle aged man tried to engage in a conversation by asking the time. The old man nodded in a way showing he doesn't know and doesn't care. The man couldn't resist and asked, "What are you holding there?" The old man answered, "It's the last thing a mortal should own." Amused by this statement the man asked more about the book to which the old man answered, "The owner of this book becomes rich and gets everything he wants." The man got interested and asked the old man to sell him that book. The old man said, "10,000 dollars." The man being highly superstitious paid the price and bought the book. As he was leaving down the mountain road the old man stopped him to warn about the book saying, "Whatever you do with it, never open the last page, or you will die." The man left rather happily in spite of the warning.

From that day forward the man quit his job, bought a big villa and a sports car on loan and mortgage from his smaller house. He waited for his days to change and started day dreaming about more expensive things thinking the book will show its magic. But that never happened. After being in debt for years he finally lost his patience and decided to take a look at the last page of the book. He slowly opened the book and saw all pages were empty. He never looked at the pages before as he was only interested in the outcome of owning the book. Fearing for his life he opened the last page and died instantly of cardiac arrest. The last page said "Hard bound ,unruled. $8.99"

Grandpa often said, "Having a book does not make you wise or rich. But knowing and reading people will."

2 Corinthians 3-18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

Grandpa said there are many kinds of books. The Book about nature. Just watch the tree, flowers and the animals. They will tell you about the weather and the time of year. Then there is a Book of Remembrance. History is a good book as it teaches us that life is a branch of knowledge and learning from others. It is recorded in word, song and stories. It should teach us to grow from past successes and failures. Then as we live there is the greatest book. The Bible which has The Old Testament and The New testament. The rule and guide of our life. After we pass this life ,there are the books of The Record of Every Man’s Works and the The Lamb's Book of Life.

Grandpa said as there are many different kinds of books, as there are many different types of people. Each person is a book. Some are well written with many words and accomplishments. Some are blank pages with no works to describe. Grandpa did not have an extensive library. He only owned one book. But Grandpa did have a vast library of friends. They all were well written and well versed.

What was so amazing was that he carried his only book every where he went. He had a small pocket in the front of his bib overalls where he kept it. Why would he carry it if he could not read the book? Then one day while I was watching him as he hooked up the mule to the plow a garden spot. What amazed me was watching him take the book out of his bib, open it and it looked like he was reading something.

But Grandpa could not read. I went closer to see what he was supposedly reading as he was speaking aloud. Then I realized he had open the book and it was a Bible. He was not reading the book, but rather talking to it. I heard him say, as he open the book, "Lord, I hope I have hitched up this old mule straight with the plow so we can make a straight row. Lord I hope I been right enough that you see fit that these crops grow. Lord, if I ain't, please overlook my wrong doings. I will try to do my part and I know you will do yours. Together we can harvest for the family and the church folks. Thank you now Lord." He placed the book back inside his bid. He snapped the bib shut so the book would not fall out. He did not want to lose it. Then with a loud voice he said, “Get up mule, Lets go to work.“

I remember Grandpa telling us a story of an old devout cowboy who lost his favorite Bible while he was mending fences out on the range. Three weeks later, a mule walked up to him carrying the Bible in its mouth. The cowboy couldn't believe his eyes. He took the precious book out of the mule's mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed, "It's a miracle!" "Not really," said the mule. "Your name is written inside the cover."

Grandpa said, “Now that leaves us to the Book of Life. Will your name be written there? Do you believe in Jesus Christ? His birth, death and resurrection. And most importantly, His return."
Rev 3-5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.

Grandpa said, "Some day I will get to Heaven. Every thing is perfect there. So I know my eyes will see and I know I will be able to read. Just maybe, I say, just maybe I can look at a page in that book and see your name too. Be Blessed and Believe. Don't leave this life and let your book be blank!"

---

Charles Finney
ccfinney@yahoo.com



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