Year in, year out the same things happens again and again. I get mired in the lower reaches of the Old Testament, give up and jump back in when my Bible-in-Year reading plan reaches the New Testament. Finally, Jesus turns up and – in no way parallel to the character of Edward Cullen showing back up in The Twilight Saga: New Moon – things finally get exciting! Did I just compare Jesus to a sparkly vampire? Oh I am so toast for that *grin*
Anyhow, the plot of teen-fiction books aside, it’s happened again this year. I get halfway through Jeremiah and I don’t know what happens; it all gets a bit deathly dull. I can only assume God was slightly distracted by something and his heart wasn’t quite in it at this point. Either way, in the nearly ten years I’ve been a Christian, the books from Jeremiah to Malachi have remained the ‘Undiscovered Country’. Ooh look, Twilight, Shakespeare and a passing reference to Star Trek in one blog post. You’re getting your money’s worth today.
But not this year! Now that I am nearly finished with the whole weight loss thing (I am only one pound away from having lost 100lbs – just over seven stone), I’m looking around for the next thing in my life that I never quite finished off. The Bible reading looks like a good one to focus on for the summer.
Because January is such a depressing and exhausting month, I’ve shifted the start of my Bible reading plan to the Academic year – September to August. I find September a great month to start reading and by and large – apart from the falling at Jeremiah thing – it works better for me than doing it from January to December. I go back to Genesis on 1st September, but this year I’m going to leave out my reading of the New Testament and read this last bit of the Old Testament once and for all. I’ve got it all printed off, with the dates from now until August 31st and we are going to do this! It’s part of the whole, revamped ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ person. *Insert lion-esque roar*.
Yes, I’m aware I’m probably using the scripture wrongly, the Bible isn’t a textbook on motiviation; but really, if I’m going to be defeated by words on a page, I’m not much of a Christian, am I? Also, there’s this whole Bible-as-a-software-licence thing. I’m sure I’m like many, many people out there, who download their computer updates and tick the ‘I agree’ box without having read the licence agreement. I don’t want to be one of those people who agrees to what’s in the Bible without having read it. You can’t possibly know what’s expected of you if you’re not going to read the instruction manual, right?
I’m starting in Proverbs, I like Proverbs and Ecclesiastes doesn’t usually give me much trouble. Song of Songs is the embarrassing love scene where you don’t quite know where to look (he said what? Oh that’s so trite as a chat-up line). After that, the real heavyweight books of Isaiah and Jeremiah kick in and that’s usually where the wheels come off. If I can get through to the end of July that leaves me Lamentations through to Malachi during August. Two and a bit months of concerted effort and hopefully, this un-read bit of the Bible will be done and I can say, finally, that I have read the Bible, all the way through.
But will I still click ‘I agree’ at the end of it?