As the author introduced me to the characters, they became a part of me, and I experienced a series of roller-coaster emotions.  I finished the book as the morning sun began to peak through the blinds.   At the last words I rested the book in my lap, laid my head back and sighed.   It was a sigh accompanied with a faint smile and a good feeling inside because I had traveled on this journey.

The book had captured my attention like an accident along the side of the road; you do not know what you are looking at, but you slow down anyway for a prolonged gaze.     In the times I was forced to remove myself from the reading I was anxiously awaiting my return to its pages.  I was rushed to finish because I was scheduled to watch the movie, but in actuality the story fed my motivation.

Only two days after reading the manuscript I stepped into a darkened theater.  With a Diet Coke and a box of popcorn I remove my shoes, crossed my feet at the ankles and rested my back against the plush seat.  I watched the previews flash before me with great anticipation.  In only moments I knew that the flow of words I drank from in the last week would unfold in front of me through visual images I would soon not forget. 

As the feature presentation spills across the sky-sized screen I again am engulfed in the lives of these people.   Even knowing the next turn and twist of the plot my emotions are stirred.   As the movie concludes the ending credits roll up the screen.  Again, I lay my head back and sigh, but not for the same reason I did when I completed the book.   This time there was a hint of disappointment.   That disappointment led me to a couple of profound conclusions I felt worthy to share with you.

First, the real thing is always better.  In this case, the book I completed in only three days was better than the 107 minutes it took to watch the movie.   The visual did not encapsulate the depth of each character I gained from the book and my imagination.  When you have the original it is better than the imitators.  

In my years of being a Christian I can say that nothing beats the real thing.   Some people think they can improve on the Word of God so they “add to it: or they “take from it” so it will suit their needs.  Some go as far as to change important details to make the words more palatable.  God warns that His original truth is what is real and the one that “adds to” or “takes away” are walking on shaky ground.

In my book one of the main characters was greatly influenced by the town’s preacher.   The spiritual leader’s influence over the main character’s early years shadowed him in his adult years.   In the movie all this was removed----not even a hint.   Well unless you count the 3 seconds they displayed the preacher shaking hands after a funeral service.   I am sure this was Hollywood’s way to make a point that anything of spiritual value is of no value to them.   Yet, for whatever reason, the movie lacked compared to the book the author intended.

My second observation is I realized how easy it is to become emotionally connected to something that is fiction.   The characters never existed.  The plot was from someone’s creative imagination.   The story was based on truthful principles, but they were not truth.

I began to think of how often I do that in my life.   I put possessions over the One who desires to possess me.  I desire authority instead of looking to the One who has authority over me.     I seek power when I need to be surrendering to the One that has all power.  I find myself leaning on the world instead of leaning on my Creator. 

I can become so emotionally connected to this world.    The world has a lot of good to offer, but not as much as our great God.   If I can become so connected with an object or a toy, how much more should I connect to a loving God?

What was the book?   Well, you will just have to figure that one out on your own.