On Jan. 1, 2010, I began the journey of reading through the Bible canonically (from Genesis to Revelation). My dad had done the same thing in 2009 and I was so inspired and impressed that I wanted to do it, too. I had tried to read the New Testament with our church in 2009, but I failed before I even started because of a lack of planning.
But this time was going to be different! My dad let me borrow his Daily Walk book, and even though I did very well (stayed on track or was caught up) until the summer hit, I stopped reading last July. I had recently started reading Isaiah, and it was a tough book for me to read.
1. If it doesn’t get done before I get out of bed, it doesn’t happen at all. You all know I’m not a morning person. So I try to squeeze out every single last minute possible of sleep before getting up and going to work. But a sacrifice of time needed to happen. And believe it or not, the best time for me is before I get out of bed–especially in the summer when life gets busier.
2. I didn’t always have the book with me. I learned that I need to make reading the Bible as easy as possible. I have to give myself no room for excuses, because I am too good at talking myself out of things. I liked the Daily Walk book because it preps each day with a devotional and introduction, and it gives you a day off each week. But I would forget to pack the book when we traveled on the weekend. And if I missed a couple days, before I knew it I’d end up missing the entire week. There were too many obstacles. Now, I read it on the Youversion.com iPhone Bible app, which I always have with me.
3. The New International Version doesn’t always make sense to me. Although it’s a paraphrase and not a direct translation, The Message by Eugene Peterson is my favorite. It speaks to me.
4. I was bored. Is that OK to say? I think the Bible is beautifully written, so maybe confused is a better word. Eric reads a blended version that gives him a mix of Old Testament and New Testament every day. Because the OT can be confusing, this may have kept me interested and on track. Maybe next time I’ll go that route!
5. The one-year track was too fast for me. To read the Bible in one year, you must read at least three chapters per day–usually four. I have found that while establishing my routine of daily reading, I’m better at sticking with it when I only read one chapter a day. Slow and steady is a better pace for me–and I’ll make sure I understand what I’m reading!
While in South Carolina, we heard an excellent sermon by Ernest Smith. He was talking about a sabbatical he took and how he heard God speaking to him that what was next for him, his character wasn’t ready for. I realized that Eric and I had been praying for more than a year that He would do something big in our lives–lead us to the next spot on our path–but the sermon opened my eyes and I believe that my character isn’t yet ready for what is next. I knew the next step for me must be getting back into regularly reading the Bible.
I’m happy to say I’ve finished Isaiah and am now reading Jeremiah. And, I hope to finish reading the Bible in the next year and a half. I may never read it straight through again, but I’m determined to finish now! I’ve reinstated a plan that I will be following from now on. And now, you all can hold me to it!
Have you read–or tried to read–the entire Bible? What works for you?