Consistently reading the Bible has always been a struggle for me. It just seems to be something that causes my internal wiring to short circuit. My mind and body seem to respond to extended times of reading Scripture like a cat thrown into a swimming pool. According to my Myers-Briggs personality type, I am an ENTP which means I am a dreamer who enjoys the world around me and thrive on change. I have also battled ADHD my entire life. Simply put, sitting quietly and focusing on any one thing day after day is just shy of torture. Rather than using my shortcomings as an excuse or thinking I get a “free pass” from a devotional life, I have continued to experiment with times, places, plans, and methods that others recommend. I have discovered a few things that are actually working and might help others struggling in this area.
First – I’ve chosen a specific Bible reading plan. I know playing Bible roulette is not sustainable and I have never grown from a shot in the dark approach to spiritual reading. I have had success in past years the Moravian Daily Text but this year I decided to try the One Year Bible. It is the reading plan that many of my friends and mentors are already doing. It seems very reliable and I will be able to talk with people I love about what I am reading in God’s Word – which is absolute gold for an extrovert. Using this plan in community will add an extra layer of accountability, which I find spurs me to read on, even when I don’t feel like it. I also love that it is was available as a hard copy Bible and/or digital on the YouVersion Bible App for free. Laura and I will be starting fresh on New Year’s Day and we’d love for you to join us! If you are interested, you can find out more info here: http://www.oneyearbibleonline.com
Next – I had to decide when & how I will carry out this plan. This is just as important as the plan itself because it involves dedication and consistency. Because the One Year Bible is divided into four sections (Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, & Proverbs) I thought it would be great to intersperse these passages throughout my day. This will help my attention span and set me up for success. I’m going to use the same formula that worked well when I was using the Moravian plan. I usually read the Psalms & Proverbs in the mornings on my iPhone through the YouVersion App before I head to work. If something really jumped out at me, I might share that verse from the reading on Facebook or Twitter. Rather than reading in the afternoon, I often listen to the Old Testament passage on “The Bible Experience” or another audio Bible that I’ve imported through iTunes while wearing headphones; this really helps keep my attention, partly because I share an office. Finally in the evenings, I read through the New Testament passage in a physical Bible so that my mind doesn’t wander onto a website or check baseball scores. These are usually very short intervals thus making my devotional times sustainable and life giving.
How about you? Do you have a specific plan to reading God’s Word in 2015? Do you struggle with consistency? What could you do to join together with people you are in community with to unpack Scripture and apply it to your life?