I know I should read the Bible more. And I need to be more familiar with the literary classics. The New York Times Best Seller list would probably provide excellent material to stimulate my brain. A steady diet of professional journals would enhance my theological and philosophical awareness.

My spirit and mind might be enriched by more reading in all of the types of publications above. I admit that I am terribly deficient in all of those categories. I need to discipline myself to consume more of the writings that challenge the mind and inspire the soul. However, at the risk of sounding shallow and immature I admit that the comics are my favorite things to read. I enjoy what in a bygone era was called the “funnies.”

I start most of my days with two cups of coffee, prepared the night before so all I have to do is press the button on the coffee maker in the morning. Along with my coffee and before anyone else is awake in the house I read the newspaper. I know, almost nobody reads the daily newspaper anymore. I know it is online and can be updated the instant something new happens. I have a digital subscription and can read everything on my computer, iPhone, or Kindle. But I enjoy sitting down and holding the paper in my hands as I read and drink my coffee at the start of the day.

The news of the world, the state, and my local community is there in Sections A and B of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Sports news is covered in Section C. There are also sections for business news and other daily featured topics. I read, or at least scan, most of it but I am especially interested in getting to the last page of Section D. That is where the Comics are usually located (yeah, I know they are online too).

Old standbys like Blondie, Beetle Bailey, and Peanuts are there. And if you ever had children you can probably identify with Baby Blues, Family Circus, or One Big Happy. Every parent of teenagers can find themselves and their family in Zits. Stone Soup gives a glimpse into some of the joys and challenges of single parent and blended family homes. Cat lovers should appreciate the insights that are shared in Garfield. Darby Conley, creator of Get Fuzzy, and Stephan Pastis, who writes and draws Pearls Before Swine, have the weirdest and most delightful sense of humor. I would love to meet them.

Don’t misunderstand me, I know the value of daily devotional reading and I take the Bible seriously. The intellectual stimulation from other forms of literature is important. The continued acquisition of technical knowledge is essential. But the smile on my face, the chuckle or belly laugh that often occurs as I read the comics is healthy and good. You may not need the comics, but I do.

Jamie Jenkins

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