So it is three weeks into January and all those New Year Resolutions are starting to crumble and if like many folk you were planning to read the Bible Through in a Year then my guess is that you may be beginning to stumble. I know this has happened to us so many times… we begin with enthusiasm, we miss a day, we try to catch up… but we are always behind and as you slip back a day or two a week… eventually you despair and throw in the towel… One year we did manage to power our way through the Bible in 90 Days, but typically by the third week in January we are falling off the resolution chart. We are floundering around somewhere in the beginning of Genesis and just about ready to give up. The last year or two we have read books of the Bible, but has been a while since we put our heads together and decided to read the Bible all the way through from start to finish.
Now there are any number of Bible Reading Plans available on the web… dozens of them and there are even “Apps for that”… but as a family we all respond well to a real book, with real paper pages and a couple of minutes at the end of each meal. This is the Bible we are using and three weeks in it is going well. It is your typical Bible in a year kind of Bible. The Bible is sorted by date and arranged into 365 daily readings. Days are dated and you can read a section of Old Testament, New Testament, a Psalm and a handful of Proverbs each day. Or you can choose to read just the Old Testament, or just the New testament. We are doing the whole shebang… Old Testament after breakfast, New Testament after lunch and then a Psalm and Proverbs after dinner.
Well that was the plan, until five days into the New Year and the first Sunday of the month, of the year… believe me the irony that it is a Sunday that trips us up isn’t lost on me. My kids had to be at church really early for music practice, and we stopped by friends for lunch and stayed for supper. A whole day out and we never managed to glance at our “Read a Bible Through the Year Plan.” We could’ve given up then and there, but it occurred to me that so many days of the year are unpredictable, so many days do not go according to plan… but we just kept on and the next day we just read the next day. Instead of trying to catch up… we continue to just read a day at a time. If we miss a day, well that is unfortunate… but not the end of the world and certainly not worth quitting our plan altogether.
So we are reading the Bible all the way through. One day at a time, and if we miss a day it doesn’t matter. Somehow it is about keeping the goal in mind rather than ticking the box for each day. Right now it is three weeks into the new year and our bookmark is on January 12, it isn’t stuck there by any means, tomorrow it should move onto January 13… and at this rate our bible reading will take us closer to two years. But we will have read the bible through together as a family, with the least possible stress, in small “ten minutes three times a day” chunks. We get to stop and linger a little bit and talk about what we have read… and we get to read everything, not just the sections of the bible we like to read best – again and again.
It might look like we are days behind, but actually, each day that we read is a day ahead of what we would be if we had just given up.