Sunday, May 03, 2015

Reading Lesson

This past week I was gently challenged to make an intentional effort to focus some of my writing on God, and to do so in a public way. I often do write down things that God has laid on my heart or a new (to me) insight, but rarely do I publish it to the blog. The question of "Why not?" was asked. My answer was a list of doubt filled questions. Who would want to read it? Who am I to tell people this stuff? What do I know in comparison to the others who are more qualified and better practiced in expressing things in a God honoring way? I'm nothing special.
This is me ignoring all of that.

"Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My father will love them, and we will come to them, and make our home with them."
John 14:23

I have spent a great deal of time not enjoying reading. Being dyslexic makes it a chore at times. Books assigned to read in school were awful. (Red Badge of Courage in 10th grade, really?) Trying to read the classic King James two column reference Bible was a nightmare. Page distractions, hyphenated words, and that awkward column down the middle filled with some sort of reference code designed to keep people like me from ever figuring it out (not really, but it feels that way at times)  

In my late 20''s I realized that my kid's reading level was about to pass my own, and I needed to be able to read what she was reading. This time it clicked, and I got hooked on a good read.

Some positive peer pressure shamed me into picking up Pride and Prejudice. It took me FOREVER to get through. The language was almost foreign. It stretched me like nothing had before. I had to watch the BBC series to really get some some of it. I was crazy proud when I finished. About a year later, I decided to read it again, and this time it took me less than a week to read it, and I caught so much more than before. I was use to the rhythm of it and had a lot less to look up. I picked it up again recently because I needed a familiar and beautiful read to quiet my busy mind. It went from being the biggest reading struggle of my life to being comfort food.
My biggest shame as a constantly failing person who wants to follow Christ is that I have not read through the Bible. Sure, I've hit most of it. I know all the highlights, and I've studied through several of the books, but I don't read it like I should at all.  Not even close. I still struggle. The begets are where my dreams of this feat usually die. It dawned on me that it is because I have never challenged myself to get through it like all the classic novels I have been pushing through these last few years.
The first time through will be hard. The second time through will be eye opening. The third time will make God's word home. I've been a Christian the vast majority of my life, but this is the first time I am excited by the idea of reading the entire Bible. It took me a full year to make it through one of Tolkien's works, so I'm afraid to set a timeline for me to finish this. Let's just say that when I do, you'll hear about it. Not out of pride for myself, but out of pride for what God will have seen me through.

If you also struggle with the usual format the Bible is printed in, you may want to look into this one. The ESV Reader Bible. It is written like any other book. No more red letters, breaks in lines every fourth word, or tiny distracting number everywhere. I'm sure it makes a terrible study Bible, but for straight reading, it may just be brilliant. It is on back order now so I must not be the only one who thought so.

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