I love the Bible! I really do. I even love trying to figure out the importance of the less “exciting” parts of the Bible. There was a time a few years back when I was reading through the entire Bible three or four times a year. I like to take notes as I read the Bible and keep lists. Truly, it is one of the more enjoyable things I do. But, for some reasons I go through these stretches in my life where I just don’t pick it up.
I mentioned the time a few years back when I was reading 10-20 chapters a day. That was followed by a period of a couple year where I had no real reading plan. I still read the Bible. I read it to prepare for lessons, and I would decide to read a book here or there or a couple of chapters from a book if I had come across something interesting, but I wasn’t reading it consistently. A couple of years ago, I decided that needed to change. I picked a chronological reading plan (one way I’ve still not read through the Bible) and set out on January 1 to read through the entire Bible in chronological order in one year. That lasted until about January 20th. I missed a week, and sure enough I was back to my old “on and off” style of reading.
Fast forward to December 2011. I decided on December 11th (I remember because it was exactly two weeks before Christmas) that I was going to read the four gospels in the weeks leading up to Christmas. As always happens when I get back into my Bible, I quickly remembered how much I love reading it. How is it, I wondered, that I can so easily ignore something that I love so much (there is a deeper spiritual question there, but it’s beyond the scope of this post). I was inspired and challenged. By Christmas, I had read the four gospel accounts and decided there was no reason to stop there. I was going to get back into a regular reading pattern and read through the entire Bible in 2012 for the first time in a few years.
I finished off the New Testament, Psalms and several other Old Testament book in the first four or five months of the year. I was on a roll again thoroughly enjoying God’s Word and all that it had to teach me until about May. Things got busy. A week passed. I hadn’t read. It was ok though, I was going to make up that time. Then another week passed, and another – you know where this story is going, right?
Which brings us to this year. New Year, new plan! This year I was going to start with the more “difficult” books of the Bible. You know the ones I am talking about. They’re not page turners. So, I started with the book of Numbers, and a brand new resolve. I was going to be intentional this year. I wasn’t going to “read ahead” to build in cushion to make sure I would get done. I was going to savor God’s Word. That worked really well, until about March. Slowly the same pattern began to emerge. I missed a couple of days one week and rushed to “catch up.” Then it was a whole week missed and rushing to catch up once again. Then, before I even knew it, it had been a month.
I sat down earlier this week and started reading it again. And, once again it is only after I get started that I realize how important that process really is to my life. What a grace God has given to us in His Word. What a treasure it is, and what a travesty to allow it to collect dust. I don’t write this as a judgment against you or against myself (that is something I have been guilty of). God’s Word is not like sauerkraut (or insert name of your least favorite food here) that He is forcing us to eat whether we want it or not. Instead, God’s Word is like the choicest fruit the He provides for our nourishment and sustenance. Together, let us make sure that we do not allow the hustle and bustle of today detract our attention from the eternal things of God.