I suppose as long as there have been summer vacations there have been children who had to write about what they did on them. And as long as there have been vacations of any kind, there have been people like us who took way too many pictures. We can post those pictures, but it’s much more enjoyable and fulfilling to have friends over and show them to them. That way, we can provide them with the context necessary to truly appreciate them. Back in the day, people had their pictures made into slides. Then they popped their slides into a carousel and showed them on a screen. Of course, today you can do that with your smart phone and any screen.
While the technology has changed, the challenge remains the same—how do you keep people’s attention while you show them your 231 pictures? You have to be an artful storyteller to hold most people’s interest. There’s nothing worse than finally arriving at the Grand Canyon and finding that half your audience is checking their eyelids for scratches.
In Deuteronomy Moses is not telling us about his summer vacation—he’s tracking Israel’s 40-year journey through the wilderness. Still, if we think of what he writes as merely a travelogue, we’re likely to have trouble maintaining our attention. But if we read it as God intends for us to read Scripture—in an interactive way and take our place along side the people of Israel on their spiritual journey, then Deuteronomy comes alive. It becomes a book overflowing with instruction, encouragement, and meaning for our lives.
As you move through the book, remember to step into the story!