Many people make a New Years Resolution to [fill in the blank] in the new year. For some it’s learn a language or learn better keyboarding skills or take a continuing education course. Are you one of those people?
Or maybe you’re a person who resolves to clean every closet in the house. Use of the word “clean” is deliberate. I don’t mean just neaten and discard/donate things and make it pretty. I mean clean–wash those walls! Or maybe organize and clean the kitchen, beginning with the refrigerator? I measured the interior spaces of my fridge today for containers in which to group things. Makes spill clean-up easier, I hear. I’m for that. And it’s organizing. Want a yogurt? in the blue bin, etc. Exciting life I live, huh?
Perhaps you resolve to get out of debt. That’s a really good resolution for many reasons. Many of us make that one every year, kinda like losing weight. I’ve probably resolved to get out of debt more years than not and lost the same 500 pounds 500 times (little exaggeration there-could you tell that’s a soft spot?) Go to the gym you couldn’t afford but joined anyway to get fit? See first line of this paragraph. Get the bad cholesterol down, good cholesterol up? All of this is pretty familiar isn’t it?
How about read the Bible in 365 days. Cover to cover. Not skipping anything you consider boring [for me that would be lineages, all those “begats” -snooze-but they’re in there so they’re important. I’ve been a Bible reader for 25 or so years and just this time around, noticed where Mary was in Jesus’ lineage; Joseph was of the house of David, but Mary?. I’d wondered, but never saw it before. There’s the “why repeat that?” answer. If you read with a truly open and awake mind, you’d be surprised what you can get out of your reading, even if it is the 30th time you’ve read it. When I was a youth ministry volunteer, we were using the book of Esther as the theme for teachings for a period of time. Not being very familiar with Esther, I read and took notes on the material and corrected the youth pastor on a point from my notes. He knew Esther so he didn’t do what I did. It will probably a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but you get the point. These learning habits can carry over to other areas of life.
I’ve made that 365 day resolution before along with weight loss, healthy diet, gym, etc, and didn’t succeed. I read it in about 2 years, but I didn’t just quit when I blew it, as is my (our?) usual pattern. With the other failed resolutions I gave up. I must not be alone in this, look at the heart attack rates (not included in that number, thank you God), obesity, all the problems we resolve to fix. Why didn’t I give up on reading the Bible? I attend a Bible teaching church and I had learned, not just heard, learned the importance of spending time regularly, daily, with God in His Word. And I realized it’s been a few years. I need to do it again.
One of my readers wrote a post recently about reading the Bible in a year and wrote of several different ways to approach it. You don’t have to start with Genesis 1:1 and read through the end of Revelation. There are a lot of different reading plans. I chose one for shirkers and slackers. Maybe you didn’t notice where I wrote it’s been a few years since I did this or that the first time it took 2 years. Yeah. And I’ve already learned something I hadn’t seen in my reading of the same verses many, many times. Are you doing this? These plans are very manageable; no huge assignments. You just have to have your Bible (or your computer–I go to BibleGateway.com), willingness, expectation you’ll fall behind at some point [Satan just hates us doing this], an equal expectation to get back into it. Having a partner for accountability helps. I’ve now got the world as my accountability partners. LOL But I have IRL accountability, too. Give it a try? What do you have to lose? A little time each day, time which you could really use to wind down anyway, or maybe to get going. And if you’re not a believer, surely you know someone who is and it could result in some great conversation. And who knows? Maybe your eternal salvation.