How long have you gone without reading the Word of God on a daily basis? I stopped keeping track of how long it had been after 2 years (meaning it’s been longer than that). I’m not very good at keeping any daily habit going. Brushing my teeth and taking a shower is as much as I have been able to implement daily. The only thing that keeps me brushing my teeth is knowing how the scum builds up over time if you don’t. And it’s a painful dentist visit if you get too far behind. That’s sort of how it’s been during the years of not reading scripture daily: scum-y. And the scum builds. Self-talk is scum-y, conversations with strangers are scum-y, talking with friends and family becomes scum-y. You know that feeling like the sweater fuzz on your teeth. Gross.
During Rooted, we had homework to do every day – including reading scripture. My group could tell I was benefiting from this rhythm in my life. They asked why I have such a hard time with it – what was in the way? Out came the defensive arsenal of excuses: I don’t have the energy, I don’t have time; I prefer to read in context which would take hours to get through and I prefer to read several different versions at the same time – and journal my prayers of what I just read. All of that usually takes a lot of time and energy! One friend in the group asked, “Why not just 10 minutes a day?” Because I was afraid, my friend. I was afraid that it would change me. I was afraid that I would have to give up other things in my day – those 10-minute time slots were MINE!
As you know, COVID-19 happened and is still happening. During a blog post earlier in March by Kyle Fox, he encouraged us to do something we don’t normally do and see if we can continue to implement it when things went back to normal. That Rooted conversation and my reaction to it, which was still floating around in my mind coupled with this challenge was the catalyst. I felt convicted to start the Bible Project’s Read Scripture app which takes you through the Bible bit by bit and day by day for a year (sometimes it’s 10 minutes a day, sometimes it’s about 30 minutes) and provides overview videos which help keep things in context. The best part is you can start any time in the year; so, I’ll finish up sometime around the end of March 2021.
I didn’t even realize how hard my heart was getting – how scum-y, until I started reading scripture day by day. I’m still working my way through the Torah (first 5 books) and haven’t even hit the New Testament yet! I didn’t realize how much it would affect each conversation, each thought to be reminded of the bigger narrative and read through it each day. God is showing me my fears reflected in his story and his stern, kind Father-like eyes are helping me discipline my wayward, softening heart. There is no doubt about it, I’ve been missing out.
My readings have leaked into conversation with my family so often that my husband started reading along with me so we could discuss whatever came to mind that day. I’m still the sharp, sassy person you’ve always known, but my heart feels less . . . scum-y. My thoughts and perspectives are more productive. I feel it is a privilege to be able to read the Word of God. These documents have survived through time to be a testimony of God’s character and his love. In reading about his glory, we can be encouraged, challenged, and matured. You can read all the commentaries and devotionals and textbooks about scripture in the world (and that can be a great practice to do so), but there is no substitute for the rhythm of the poetry and richness and life of the Bible itself.
P.S. Interested in reading along with me? Check out the Bible Project here: https://bibleproject.com/