|Something beautiful that God made, that i took a picture of today.|
With all this talk of stirring up my gifts and whatnot, i can hear the unspoken comments in my head, wondering why i haven't included any specific, daily, weekly, monthly Bible-reading or prayer goals. Well, for one, it kind of goes without saying. For two, i have road blocks.
I started my most recent read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year program, in about May 2009, give or take a year and some months. So i guess i should call it the read-through-the-Bible-eventually plan. I've read through the Bible several times in the course of my days, but this time, i wanted to specifically, not just read, but soak and understand.
Well, when i seek to soak and understand, sometimes i run into parts of the Bible that are sort of more difficult to soak up, per se. I most recently got stuck in Jeremiah. Jeremiah has its moments, it has some really inspirational isolated scriptures, but other parts are a little hard to make it through, specifically hard to soak in.
Then i started listening to the New Testament in my car. And loving it. Until a couple of weeks ago, when i finished the first 26 books. And then i finished the first three chapters of that 27th book. And then one day, i turned off the cd on my way to work, and admitted something to God that i have never admitted about any book of the Bible. "God," i declared with a little too much certainty, before i thought about it, "i don't like Revelation."
Revelation just isn't the encouraging, admonishing, straight-forward, comfort that the rest of the New Testament is. It's mysterious, wondrous, and frankly, pretty stinkin' scary.
So i turned it off.
I turned it back on a couple of times, for a few minutes, but my daily "reading" was very interrupted. The last time i listened was sometime before Christmas. Then, today, i found a reason to turn it on, for a better reason than just habit.
I think most people know what it's like to be separated from someone you love. Whether it's a loved one or a relative who lives a long way away, or a loved one who has passed away to eternity, our hearts miss that familiarity of the person we love. For most of my marriage, i have lived a long way away from my parents. And during certain especially challenging times in my life, i have this certain possession that has been a special comfort to me. It's a cassette tape recording that my parents sent me more than ten years ago. On one side, it has my mom singing. On the other side, is my dad preaching. And i would turn it on (and i have kept a cassette playing walkman in my possession for just this purpose) just to hear their voices. My mother's singing voice is lovely, and i have no doubt that my dad's sermon is insightful and inspiring (though i can't remember what it's about). But the reason i turn it on is to hear the familiar voices of people who i know love me, unconditionally.
This morning, on my way to work, when i turned on and actually enjoyed listening to the book of Revelation, it was for that same reason. I was missing the familiar voice of my Father. Listening to His Word was comforting, even if i didn't understand what He was saying.
So i learned something new. And i don't think God's mad at me for not liking Revelation. It's not like He doesn't know my heart to begin with. But when i give it up to Him, He can change it and teach it.