Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.


Before You Travel to Another World

From the time I learned to read at age four, I have devoured any book I could hold onto for a day.  My parents didn’t ever have to take me to Disneyland as a child—the library was just across town and an evening there held far more attraction for me than an amusement park!

I remember several such library outings in which I would discover a new book and eagerly take it to my dad before I checked it out, hurrying in my typical library-fast-trot.

“Do you know if it’s good, Lauren?” he would invariably ask. 
When I would respond that I didn’t really know, he would hand it back and say, “Read the first page, a middle page, and a back page to test it out.”  If it passed this test, then I could check it out and take it home. 

The test wasn’t perfect: sometimes it failed and I would have to return a book before I finished it.  Sometimes the test revealed plot twists to me that I wish I hadn’t seen before reading the beginning of the book.  But sometimes the tested pages posed problems that put my heart in a head-on collision of discernment versus desire and taught me lifelong lessons as a result.  On those library visits I learned to look both ways before entering the world of a book to make sure it’s a world worth entering. 

Now I find myself faced with many worlds.
Books, movies, music, blogs, and internet all hold doors to worlds that clamor for my time, attention, and love.  And while that childhood test still applies, it sometimes seems too simple.  It is not the test, however, that has become simplistic, but my heart that has become complicated.  Recently I have realized that the deeper question beyond the childhood test has become, “What world do I desire?” 

I can scan book pages and read movie reviews until my eyes cross, but if that childlike innocence is gone and I am looking not for a “Caution Before Proceeding” sign, but for anything to justify my desire to enter that new world, then all my tests and questions are for naught.  Passports and visas protect the citizens of our country by keeping the wrong people out and enabling citizens with the freedom to travel.  Standards and discernment in media work similarly, but only if you want protection. 

A tiny girl was telling me the other day about a movie she had just watched with a bad part in it.
“I looked away,” she told me solemnly.  “But my brothers didn’t.  They watched.” 

My heart was pricked by this innocent little girl who knew when to look away and when to blush.  Her brothers had once known that as well, but somewhere along the way their desire had overruled their cautions. 

James truly said, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” {James 1:14-15}

What world calls to you from the enticing pages of a book or the glittering screen of your laptop?
Is there a part of your heart left unprotected?

“Your Imagination Can Take You Anywhere,” © 2013 martinak15, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license:

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Great post, Lauren!!! :) I've copied that verse down and I'm going to chew on it a bit.

  2. Great thoughts, Lauren - thank you for a challenging post. :)


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