It has often been said that you will be the same person in ten years time as you are today, except for the people you meet and the books you read. And while it is a difficult thing to go into new circles and enlarge your acquaintances when your life mainly consists of school, home and Saturdays at the shopping centre, as most teenagers' lives do, it is possible - and a most exciting possibility at that - to change your thinking, learn about new cultures, discover new truths, have adventures, and better understand God's plan for your life through the inexhaustible world of books.
My mum always encouraged in my brother and sister and I an enthusiastic love of the written word; and while my passion for writing and classic literature isn't for everyone, she did instill in us the universal truth that although your school years may be only for a season, if you are willing to keep your mind and a book open, learning in life can be infinite.
I know in today's world of status updates and texting that sitting still and reading anything longer than 140 characters is a bit unusual, but if you wish to be a well informed and contributing person in society it is a necessary habit, even if a bit unpopular in regular adolescent circles. Think about it this way - other than what your friends at school say and your parents at home talk about, what shapes your beliefs and opinions and teaches you how and what to live for? How do you confidently stand up for something when in fact you may only be standing up for what you have been told? Without actively seeking knowledge for ourselves, we will be like a boat without a rudder, not able to steer our own path but being pressed on all sides by the plans of others be tossed where ever the waves determine.
Proverbs 8 tells us that knowledge is more desirable than the choicest gold and wisdom is better than jewels, and we know that we build wisdom into our lives firstly by reading the The Book - the Word of God, as Proverbs also tells us that the fear (i.e. reverence and adoration) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. All that we read and hear from others must always be measured against the truth of His word before we accept it into our own worldview. But don't let that stop you from exploring the words, thoughts and ideals of those who have gone before us through the vast library of the written word. There are many colourful, courageous, smart and sensitive people who have left parts of themselves to be discovered in their books, whether they be works of fiction, philosophy, poetry, biography or politics, all waiting to be read and mused over by you and I. And even if you don't think of yourself as a bookish-type person (if that's the case, a daily reading of God's Word is a good place to start), there are as many different types of books out there as there are different types of people, so don't give up on your pursuits of finding one that interests you. Because reading is more than a good habit, it's a practice that can literally change your life.
Some of my all-time favs that you might like too are:
The book of Romans (from the Bible)
Velvet Elvis (by Rob Bell)
Wild at Heart and Captivating (by John & Stasi Eldridge)
The Veritas Conflict (by Shaunti Feldhahn)
The Robe (by Lloyd C Douglas)
I Kissed Dating Goodbye (by Josh Harris)
Battlefield of the Mind (by Joyce Meyer)