I am amazed. I have read all of Romans and all of 1 Corinthians. I am almost finished with 2 Corinthians. Fifteen days in a row, I have read my Bible. My goal is fifteen minutes each day – no more/no less – until Thanksgiving.
When I first finished Romans, I was surprised. No, really! As I turned the page, there was commentary for the next chapter. WHAT? I finished an entire book? I don’t think I have done that before …. read from the start all the way to the end without jumping like an ADHD child from one spot to another. I’ve done many, many Bible studies and dug through books, referencing and researching any given topic. And I’ve studied entire books with groups of women.
But, to read all the way through one book
from start to finish
in a matter of days
is a new thing for me. The enemy comes to thwart us, though, doesn’t he?
On Friday, November 29th, the day after my post published
about my personal challenge (here),
Joy and I prepared for a trip to visit south Georgia.
I got up early, tied up loose ends …
cleaned …. tied up more loose ends ….
and loaded our luggage into my sweet van.
I decided that Joy could read to me in the van.
She could share in this commitment … at least this morning.
On Friday, November 29th, Joy read to me as we traveled in the vehicle.
On Friday, November 29th, I only spent five minutes in the Word.
She didn’t want to continue to read. We stopped to make a breakfast break
and never returned to those vellum pages with black and red type.
Saturday morning when I woke up at the Lovetts home,
all those thoughts rolled in. You know them, don’t you?
“See you can’t do it. You’ve already failed and you just started.
You don’t want to read now. Your friends are awake. You have to leave soon. You can do it later.”
I will not be condemned. I will not be defeated.
I will fail. I will struggle. I will faulter. But, I will perservere
I keep my eyes RIGHTLY on the goal.
My goal: 15 minutes a day – no more/no less – until Thanksgiving.
My goal is not a limitation on time with God.
It is a boundary to keep my life in check.
This is my season. This is what I have to offer.
I want to offer more. But for now, this is all I feel capable of risking
that I know that I can hold to my vow.
This is today’s obedience.
I settle into a comfort with this place
and then Ann at A Holy Experience publishes THIS post.
Really. You need to read it to get the whole picture.
Her mother-in-law, not so long ago deceased, didn’t just read the Bible,
she memorized the Bible.
And she didn’t just memorize some of the Bible,
she MEMORIZED BOOKS of the Bible.
….. entire …. books.
I read and immediately thought
of the heyday that the enemy could have with this one,
and just as quickly
I thought of Romans 8:1
and God’s gracious, glorious mercy.
Ann’s beautiful Dutch Mother-in-law …. is not my plumb line. I need to remember where I am today. I absolutely.will.not let the enemy come into my thoughts life and steal, kill and destroy my place of victory. I am thoroughly enjoying reading the Word … 15 minutes at a time – no more/no less. One day, I may memorize chapters … and even books … but today I am committed to reading and content with a victory in that area.
I extend mercy to
the rude person in the aisle at the grocery store
that takes up the unmarked, but totally understood, coming AND going lane.
I extend grace to the young girl with road rage
who cuts me off and gives me a rude finger sign
only to realize that I stopped because there was a dog in the street.
I am immediately forgiving
of most people in most situations …
but I don’t extend the same gracious spirit
Why does this happen?
Why are we SO hard on ourselves?
I don’t know, but I’m onto this. I’m working this struggle through. I’m digging and wondering and looking and I’m going to put this craziness behind me. I’ve had enough.
Today, I will read for fifteen minutes. And God will use that slice of time in eternity to talk to my heart and move my spirit. He will be pleased that I am reading, because He wants to speak to me – rather than ME doing all the talking. And He would rather me open HIS letter for fifteen small minutes
and KEEP my commitment
than plan to read an hour or two …
but never actually do it.
So, here is my chart …. to help me remember.
I haphazardly threw it up on my wall,
atop primer that covers some ideas for a painting project for that time when I get around to painting the master bedroom. These little post-its represent each day of my original goal to read from the day I started until Thanksgiving day.
I will reevaluate at Thanksgiving.
May I ask you a question?
What do you feel you SHOULD be doing …
but you don’t dare try,
because you know you’ll crash and burn?
Could you set the bar lower
with a more attainable goal,
and faithfully, consistently
accomplish a small bit each day
so that you can experience victory in this area?