The only other time that happened was when I checked out too many books at once. You remember the sad tale.
How does this happen? It’s not like I lose books, well, very often. I mean, I’m careful never to loan out library books to people because I know that I’d never get them back. I leave the lending to my own personal library (which tells you what happens to a lot of my books).
It’s really the little things that add up. I’ll be finishing one book for which I’ve been on the waiting list forever, and another one will come in that I’ve also been waiting for forever. That happens for awhile, and sooner or later, I’ve got a long backlog of overdue books, just waiting to be read.
It also happens when I grow attached to a particular book and have a hard time letting go of it. This has been known to happen, quite frequently. Eventually, I relent, but only when Dan agrees to let me order a copy. Even then, I don’t want to drop it off at the library until the new one arrives.
Maybe it’s like sin. It sort of creeps up on you, adds up without you realizing it because it’s only just a penny here and there. I happen to know that one book costs 10 cents each day it is overdue. That’s nothing. But, a few days of that, well, that’s a bit more significant. And, if you multiply that by several books at once…you get the picture.
It’s easy to tell a “little white lie” every so often. But you forget that maybe at the same time, you’re also lusting after a cute new Kate Spade purse that you saw someone had at church. Then, the next day, you’re coveting a pair of patent leather lime green Coach ballet flats (purely a hypothetical example, of course, ahem). Sure, it’s just a “little white lie,” but it’s not alone. It has a lot of friends that will continue to pile up, if they go unchecked.
If God was like my librarian, I’d have amassed a huge debt, and there’s be no way he’d let me ever do anything fun again. I’d be so much in the hole that I’d never be able to get out. Unlike the library books, my sins are innumerable, and I’ve been sinning a lot longer than I’ve been reading. There are way more opportunities to accumulate debt there.
But thankfully, God isn’t like my librarian. He sent his son Jesus to cancel all my fines for good. I can enjoy him fully and all the gifts he gives, without the shame of a bad account. He won’t turn me away, ever.
And it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a stellar patron. It all has to do with an amazing guy named Jesus who paid it all up in advance for me. So I’m free to enjoy God’s library, all I want.