Mark Twain once stated, “Out of all the things I’ve ever lost, I miss my mind the most!” So, what is the one thing that you couldn’t do without–that you would miss the most if you lost it?
In our culture, many might say their cell phone. Mobile phones have become an integral part of modern life, serving not only as a way to communicate, but also as a social network tool, personal organizer, online shopping tool, calendar, alarm clock and timer, camera, flashlight, calculator, etc. Mobile phones are definitely beneficial devices, but overreliance can lead to a form of behavioral addiction. In fact, the term “nomophobia” was recently coined to describe the fear of being without your phone which can come from losing it, damaging it, having low batteries or just being in an area without coverage. It can cause feelings of stress and anxiety or even feelings of fear or panic.
Others might say the one thing they cannot do without is their credit or debit card! We become very dependent upon it for pretty much all our financial transactions whether in person or ordering online. We are getting closer and closer to a cashless society. Just try paying your bills with cash! Along with the fear of losing your credit/debit card is the fear of losing your identity. Identity theft has become more and more of a real threat. So, along with the plastic cards, many might say the one thing they can’t do without is their wallet or purse, which contains those cards along with their identification cards.
Probably the one thing I would miss most is my old Ryrie NASB Study Bible. I believe it was around 1978 that a number of us at Three Lakes Community Bible Church (where I was pastoring) ordered these study Bibles from Moody Publishers. I decided to read it from cover to cover and read Unger’s Bible Handbook along with it. I would add some of Unger’s information as notes in the margins of my Ryrie Bible. As I read other materials or heard messages that fit certain passages, I added more notes in my Bible. I also used colored pencils and highlighted verses that stood out to me–hundreds of them! (NOTE: At funerals, you often hear the pastor read verses from the deceased’s Bible which had been marked as favorites. Well, good luck to the pastor who has my service!). I also added more verses to the existing cross references already indicated. Needless to say, my Bible is rather worn, but I keep duct-taping it together for I would feel a bit “lost” without it. I even have a new Ryrie in which I have also recorded notes, for the first one is pretty much maxed out, but I continue to use it. Even if I can’t remember an exact reference for a verse I am looking for, I know where it is located on the page.
Many today have gone to using a cell phone for their Bible, as they can have all sorts of translations, commentaries, etc., as apps, but I still like turning the pages, knowing right where to find a passage or verse, and reading my many notes, which are really a history of my spiritual growth. So, I would really miss having my Bible. Yes, I could do without it, but I would miss it greatly!
Christians who have been incarcerated, especially those who have been prisoners of war or have been imprisoned for their faith testify that the one thing they missed most was their Bible. Some are privileged to receive one, but many have to rely on the verses they have memorized and are able to quote to receive encouragement. Even the Apostle Paul, in his final imprisonment prior to being executed at the hands of Emperor Nero, wrote to his beloved understudy, friend, and fellow-worker, Timothy hoping he could come to see him before he was put to death and to bring with him Mark, his cloak (left in Troas), “and the books, especially the parchments” (II Tim. 4:8-13). Obviously Paul missed his friends but also wanted some books (Christian literature) and parchments (Scriptures). He missed his “Bible”!
Definitely the one person we can’t do without is the Lord Jesus, who for believers, is our life (Phil. 1:21), but among the things we possess, what is the one thing you just can’t do without? It says a bit about our priorities, doesn’t it! How precious is God’s Word to you? Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found and I ate them, and Thy words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jer. 15:16). The longest chapter in the Bible, Psa. 119 containing 176 verses, is all about God’s Word and how it contains everything man needs to know. It is the “lamp unto our feet and a light to our path…The unfolding of Thy words give light and understanding…” (vv. 103, 130). In Psa. 19, David wrote: “The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes…They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than the drippings of the honeycomb; moreover, by them is Thy servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward” (vv. 8-11).