First, let me say that this picture is completely unrelated to the post. I just thought this shot of Ella from New Year's Day was funny. This is all she did all day - she really wanted a palette!
Anyway, onto the embarrassing part.
I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior when I was seven years old. I also love to read. You could infer from these two statements that for these reasons I have clearly read the bible. Well... I haven't. No matter that I can read a work of fiction in a single day, I have a horrible problem with non-fiction. I cannot focus when I read it. It doesn't matter how I divide it up, or if I reread the same paragraph ninety-five times. I don't absorb it and I give it up.
This has been particularly difficult because our Sunday morning bible study class is a book study class. Only once have we read a work of fiction. I'm not complaining, because I always gain so much from our class on Sunday mornings and the reading guides we follow. I'm just always embarrassed that I'm not following along in the book. I buy them, I start them with good intentions and after a few days I give up. Eyes glazed over.
I can easily justify not reading these books, but what is there to say about avoiding the bible? I can read a few verses in connection with the sermon. I can read a few passages that accompany a daily devotion. Otherwise, I struggle to focus and pay attention. Embarrassing.
Last year, Josh and I committed to reading the bible through. I bought a book to help us stay on course and started out pretty good. I think I might have made it 5 books in. Josh mentioned sometime into 2009 that he had finished and I felt horrible. I put it down and never picked it back up.
A few days into January, I read this post. It reminded me that I was embarrassed. Do you know when I read it? At 3 o'clock in the morning when I couldn't sleep and there was nothing to do. Do you know what I did next? I brewed a pot of coffee, visited this website and listened to the introductory audio lesson. You know the one thing that really stuck with me? The speaker said something about God's will being about His glory and my maturity. It reminded me that maybe I was waiting for nothing. I was waiting to be "spoken to" through the very first scripture I read instead of just digging in and seeing what happened. Sometimes, we have to do things because we're grown up, not just because we want to. God said we should read His word. My interest or entertainment doesn't really have anything to do with it. I'm not saying we should do it out of obligation and not seek to find something wonderful, but maybe God was waiting on me to be a grown up about it before giving me the gift of His scripture. It isn't always about the blessing. Sometimes, it's just about obedience.
I didn't blog about my decision to read the Bible in 90 days because my track record isn't exactly stellar. I didn't want to sound pious or important or like I was trying to convince you to join me. I wasn't sure I could do it. I'm pregnant and the next 90 days are kind of busy and stressful. What if I couldn't commit?
Well, I'm happy to say that I'm 21 days in and right on track. I'm reading 2 Samuel and that is as far as I've ever made it. I've committed to reading the Bible before Sophie gets here. It took a week or so to get used to the amount of reading and to train myself to PAY ATTENTION. I've had to reread a few passages, but I'm doing okay. The scriptures take roughly 30 minutes each day to read and I think that's been more helpful than hurtful. If I miss any days, it takes me much longer to catch up. Since I know I will have a much harder time fitting 2 hours of reading time into my day, I'm much more likely to set aside my 30 minutes.
I would love to go back and read it more slowly, do some investigating and ask more questions. I'd like more time to meditate on the verses. For now, though, it's about obedience. And reading it because God asked me to, told me to. The best part is that even though I'm plowing through at record speed, He's pointing out verses I've never read and stories I've never heard. I have a better understanding for how things fit together. Please pray for me as I continue to practice obedience. I hope to post on March 29th and tell you that I did it!
There is a schedule for reading the Bible in 90 days here. I'm modifying it slightly
since I don't like stopping mid-chapter, but it will at least keep you on track!