I saw a poll the other day that announced that “Gone with the Wind,” the novel by Margaret Mitchell is America’s second favorite book. We have recently been celebrating the 75th anniversary of this great romantic novel. Apparently Margaret wrote this book while recovering from an automobile crash injury that refused to heal. Her husband helped edit the book and soon it was a best seller. Three years later, it was made into the famous movie we all have enjoyed.
I was intrigued to see that she wrote the book’s final moments first and then wrote all the events that led up to that climax. And she went through a number of title choices. Her first choice was to call it “Pansy,” after the original name for Scarlett O’Hara. Other proposed titles included “Tote the Weary Load,” “Baa! Baa! Black Sheep,” “Bugles Sing True”and”Tomorrow is Another Day.” Finally she chose “Gone with the Wind.” It was a reference to Scarlett’s musing about whether the plantation, Tara, was still standing after the Yankees had overtaken the property, or was it “gone with the wind.”
It is no surprise that Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937. This famous novel addressed timely topics like slavery and war. It has significant literary structure and a wide array of rich characters to identify with. It is a great read!
But with all that in mind aren’t you wondering what America’s first favorite book is?
It is the Bible. Year after year, poll after poll God’s word is recognized as a cherished part of American life. And it certainly should be. It is quite literally, the book for the ages. “The grass withers, the flowers fade away, but the word of our God shall stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
The problem is, even if lots of folks are skimming its pages (or at least claiming to); few of us are living in obedience to its commands. Those precepts need to jump off the pages and into our hearts. Those ideas need to become the patterns of our lives. That book is indeed profitable for “…teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (II Tim. 3:16).
So this week, lets all spend some quality time in the scriptures. Our lives need to be anchored in His Word…otherwise we will be tossed about and “gone with the wind.”
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel