Have you ever set a goal…a really, really good goal? And then not finished it?
Yeah. That’s me. Don’t worry, I’m driven. I do have goals that will one day be met…you know, future stuff. But short-term goals? Eh…Although, I guess I don’t really set that many. When I do attempt to set goals, they usually have something to do with exercising. Running, biking. Yeah. That doesn’t happen. Sean McConnell has a lyric that I feel like I can relate to: I got the best of intentions but the worst follow through.
Now that you’re concerned I’m going nowhere in life…I have something exciting to share!
I completed a goal.
A big one.
Ever since high school, I’ve heard people talk about reading the Bible in a year. The whole thing. I’ve thought what a great idea that is and yeah sure, I should do that. I’d look at the reading plan and be like, “Whoa. You want me to read HOW many chapters a day??”
It’s funny, though. When God wants you to do something, He keeps letting you know, one way or another. Last summer, I read Radical by David Platt (an EXCELLENT book…just don’t start reading it while on a Mediterranean cruise). At the end of the book, Platt gives several challenges, one of which is to read through the Word in a year. When I finished the book, I thought that it might be a good idea to just go for it. To read the Bible in its entirety. Most people would be all like, “YEAH! Let’s start NOW!” Regardless if they finished it or not, at least they started with some energy.
Over a month after finishing Radical, I finally took the plunge.
I started a reading plan.
That was August 22, 2010.
So 365 days later brings us to today.
If you’re a smart cookie, you can probably tell from the title but…..
I did it!
Actually that’s not true at all. Let me explain.
If you talked to me at all during my junior year of college, you know it was kind of out of control. It took me a while, but I finally realized that I had bitten off more than I could chew. I was in over my head with classes, work, dance, and my extensive list of extra-curricular activities. It hurt my pride a whole heck of a lot to admit that. But it felt good to say it out loud. Anyways, what with all that was going on, you can probably guess what was the first thing I “let slip.” So sad, but yes…my Bible reading plan. “Oh I’ll catch up this weekend.” “Tomorrow isn’t a busy day…I’ll read two days’ worth then.”
This is SO embarrassing but I got to the point where I was about three weeks behind. Have you seen a Bible reading plan? That is a lot of chapters…especially if you’re somewhere in the Old Testament. Know how Numbers got its name? It is just that: a whole bunch of numbers. That and names you can’t pronounce.
This summer, I read a book that you should read, too, called It’s Not Okay with Me by Janine Maxwell. Maxwell talks about how she started a Bible reading plan and struggled through it. How it was a discipline thing…how she prayed and asked for help in her reading. She wrote that she didn’t have some type of super spiritual encounter every day where God audibly spoke to her…instead she just asked for the help she needed to get through the Bible in a year.
That changed my perspective a lot. I began to pray, asking God to give me the discipline I needed to read through the Word. And guess what.
I finished a goal! And a pretty big one at that! BUT I didn’t really do it…I couldn’t do it on my own. I had to have some help. And that’s okay.
A few things about this experience:
- Yes, I read every book, chapter, verse, word in the Word in 365 days.
- No, I by NO MEANS am now any sort of theological genius.
- Instead of coming away knowing everything, I have come away realizing I really don’t know all that much.
- It wasn’t easy…at all.
- I want to do it again…but keep up with it better.
I feel like I say this a lot, but if you actually read all of this, you are a champ….thanks for joining me in this rambling journey of mine!