Do you like to read? I do; I’ve always been a voracious reader. Any book or magazine I could get my hands onto, and I would gobble up each word, living vicariously through the characters on the page. No matter the topic, I wanted to know more. Early on I figured out that I didn’t like to read the modern writers – no Faulkner or Hemingway thank you very much. I would scare myself with psychological thrillers like Hannibal and fall in love with Jane Eyre. While I never felt a connection with Romeo and Juliet, I was giddy when Beatrice and Benedick declared their love for one another.
Having loved reading (and writing), I had my majors picked out freshman year of high school. English and History all the way! Talk about going to school to get a degree in reading and writing! From theories to discussion to sentence structure, I loved every minute of it.
When I began to go to church regularly, and delved more into my faith, I bought a Bible. Made sure it was the correct translation. I also bought special highlighters and made sure I would mark it up with pencils, not pens. And then I stopped. I was stuck. Whereas with the books I read in the past, I would open the first page and read until the end. Not with the Bible; I had no idea where to start. Should I begin at the beginning, delve into the Word that way? Do I start with the Book of John? Stumped, I put the Bible down, and picked up a different book.
Then I downloaded a Bible app on my phone. Not exactly the same thing as turning a page, but I figured, I have an e-reader, I can read it that way! So, I picked Genesis and began to read a chapter a night on my phone.
Well, that lasted a month.
I would forget to read a chapter and then get annoyed with myself. Why was I forgetting to read the Bible?! Does this make me a bad Christian? So I tried different tactics; I would choose different books to read, trying to put the same zeal into physically reading that I felt mentally. And then I would forget to read a chapter again, or I would put it off and then rush through the words.
Now I felt like a horrible Christian.
How could I go into a talk with my friends at Church, unable to know passages? I can quote Shakespeare but not Jesus? Or John or Paul or Mark…? I could remember where I read something, and give examples, but I didn’t feel up to par with being in a group with other Christians.
Then I stopped; I just stopped reading the Bible. I became discouraged; it became easy to allow my doubts to override my confidence. I stepped away from reading all together. With the excuse of not enough time tumbling around in my thoughts, I just stopped.
And then one day, I was no longer numb. The urge to read again was overwhelming and I delved back in, my eyes reopened. I enjoyed reading again, and I didn’t feel like I was rushing through reading the Bible.
Am I able to say a passage off the top of my head yet? No, but I’m enjoying my time reading again, and getting to know the Word.