Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Eat the Scroll

(insert obligatory apology I always make for my absence...and my promise to do better. What's really annoying to me...is that I wrote this a week ago and am just now posting it. Oy...is there anybody left out there still paying attention to all my rambling...)

Confession: In all my 36 years…even though I've grown up knowing God…raised in the Church…knowing the Bible stories….teaching the Bible stories…

I had never ever read the Bible ALL the way through...cover to cover…Gen to Rev.

And I’ve absolutely hated that fact about me. 

It’s been a forever goal of mine since as long as I can remember. I’ve attempted innumerable times…but never could do it. I tried the cover to cover approach. I had a go at just marking off a list of the different books I read throughout the years. I struggled through countless efforts....time and time again, never reaching the goal. 

It's been my number 1 New Years Resolution, like, in a hard core way, for the last several years...but because I failed so miserably...even though it was also this year's #1...I couldn't bring myself to admit it out loud or write it down anywhere. 

Now I do have a creepy brain…in that if I grab a hold of something…it’s in there forever and ever. So I can quote and reference countless scriptures with Rain Man like tendencies. I have dug in and torn apart specific chapters and verses…down to the Hebrew or Greek. And when I do read…I tend to hang out in the obscure prophets the most (other than my beloved Psalms)…which makes someone appear like they must have somehow been a part of it all.

But the truth is…I’ve neglected this beautiful book in which my Spirit adores and longs for, all too often.

It’s sat in corners and on dressers, unopened…for more days weeks (months) in a row than I ever care to admit. 

And I love reading in general. I always have a book around me that I can pick up and read for hours at a time. But when it comes to picking up the Bible in the same way...I just don't do it....sometimes by ugly, conscience choice.  

For years…almost every “word of the Lord” someone would give me was in reference to God telling me to read the Bible more. Every time. From everywhere. Warnings...heedings...invitations...wooings...

I'd be deeply convicted...and I’d set my heart...commit to reading…and fail…and I'd commit to reading…and fail...again and again, and this was the pattern of my life.   

Then a couple of years ago I came across the Read theBible in 90 days concept and was intrigued to say the least. This was a short term goal I thought I could possibly obtain. And I jumped in

And again…I failed.

And failed...again.

And then I tried it once more…and failed faster than the other 2 times.

But I have to say, something clicked while using that 90 day reading plan. I LOVED just sitting and reading…plowing through like you would any other book. I loved the fast-pacedness of this plan. I was connecting things I’d never connected for. I was seeing concepts through a whole new perspective…and something inside shifted. 

And so I decided to push through. And even though it took me 3 years of concerted effort…and even though I’d go waaaaay too long without cracking it open at all…when I did…I just...read. That’s it. I didn’t stop and tear apart verses. I didn’t look up any definitions…I didn’t stop and ponder (much) while I was reading. And I loved it.

And on the morning of May 15, 2012... I did it. I completed the journey from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.  

And for my heart, that moment was glorious. I was kinda hoping for a little more pomp and circumstance from Heaven...but sadly, I was never able to make out any clanging cymbals.

AND...of COURSE (cause this is how I roll)...I think everyone needs to do this! Sit down...and just read. As fast as you can. Do the 90 day challenge...and if you fail...just keep going...plowing through whenever you pick it up. And before anyone gets all Christiany with that ever-too-ready-answer that’s wanting to roll off your tongue (oy, the number of times I heard this when I'd tell people about the 90 day plan)...........go ahead............you know you're shouting it in your head....you know you're just waiting for me to finish so you can click the comment button and tell me… “Well, when *I* read the Bible…I like to take my time…really concentrate on the verses and go slow...cause that's how you get more out of it..." 
...or you know, something like that. 

Forgoodness sakes. Have you done this? Have you read it as fast as you can...beginning to end? I'm telling you...it's opens up a whole new world of perspective. So really...just go for it! For reals. Everyone should do it at least once in their life this way. I think it's truly a life changing experience. 

And personally...I STILL want to do it in 90 Days. AND...I kinda wanna read it once backwards. Not by words of course...but by chapter. My immediate goal is that it doesn't take another 36 years to complete those 2 goals. (ooohhhhh...but maybe I could combine them...)

But above all...I hope that by finally crossing this obstacle that's hung over my life for oh so long, that I've broken through to something. And even though it'll still take effort...and it'll still be an activation of my will to set aside time not just to pray or hang out with God...but to actually pick up the Bible and read His Words....I truly hope and pray...that this is the beginning of a whole new adventure for me...........

So...is there still anybody out there in my blog world? And if so...where are you at in the journey through the Bible? And if that's too personal....when you are reading it...where do you like to hang out in the most???