The past two days that I’ve spent recuperating from my minor bout with the flu were helpful on many fronts. They slowed me down and helped me remember what was most important to me. I even came up with a decent plan for how to find time to reconnect with the things that matter most to me and feed my soul.
I don’t want to talk about much of the plan – for some pieces would make sense only to me. There was one aspect of the plan that contained a valuable life lesson that can be applied to a variety of circumstances – so I thought I would share that piece with you.
Since I was a child, the Bible has played a significant role in my development. My fascination with the Bible led me to read it all the way through for the first time my sophomore year of high school. I read it through another three times before I left for seminary at the age of 31. Ironically, I’ve not made it all the way through since I went to seminary and started serving as an ordained minister.
Why is that?
While I spend lots of time reading portions of the Bible each week in order to prepare for worship services and the classes which I teach, I’ve never made time to carve out time to read it simply for myself. I’ve bemoaned the fact on several occasions, and even started “Read the Bible in a Year” reading programs on numerous occasions. Each time, however, the demands of parish life interrupted my reading schedule and I would give up.
The last couple of days I finally realized why I got bogged down. I was always trying to follow someone else’s reading schedule. I needed to create a schedule of my own that would work for ME. In order to do that, I Googled a simple question to see what it would take to read the Bible through in a year. I typed in: “How many chapters a day to read the Bible in a year?”
3.25 chapters a day. That’s it.
For years, I had assumed the answer would have been much higher. That assumption overwhelmed me, and kept me from even starting the endeavor on more than one occasion. Once I got the courage to ask what it would take, I realized the task was much more doable than I thought!
With that information in hand, I plunged into my reading program and started where I wanted to begin (the book of Joshua) and on a day when I felt called to begin (December 11 – not an artificial starting date like January 1). I’m excited to reconnect with the wonderful and challenging stories of my faith on a very personal level.
So what’s the takeaway for you from all of this?
Well, chances are there is an area in your life where you’ve been wanting to do something important. Maybe you’ve been wanting to undertake a project at home? Maybe you’ve been promising yourself that you’ll work on a creative endeavor? Maybe you want to work on a relationship that has been broken?
Whatever that area is in your life, perhaps you’ve been unable to begin because you think the project is too big. If that’s the case, find time today to think about the undertaking in a new way. Break it down into steps or stages that can be completed over time. Once you do that, you might find it easier to take that first step and begin something powerful. Not only will it put you one step closer to finishing an important task – it will re-energize you knowing that you are tending to the things that matter most to you.
See you next time…