Tuesday February 1, 2005

I was just catching up on all the xanga’s I’ve missed while I’ve been sick.  I’m sad that I missed Caroline’s departure.  I’m praying for you Caroline! I know God is going to do something new in your life.

Anyway, I also ran across James’ entry from Thursday about Scripture.  He said exactly what I’ve been feeling.  I can’t understand why I find the Bible so dry, when I’m the kind of person who can read the same book over and over and never get sick of it.  

How many times have I read “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”?  Countless.  I’ve read the entire Lord of the Rings twice now.  I read Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quartet probably a hundred times while I was growing up.  I have shelves of books that I’ve read more than once, and I’m likely to run and grab one again tonight.  

So it’s not as if I don’t like reading, or that I don’t like reading things I’ve read before.  I enjoy taking out a book I haven’t read in awhile and getting reacquainted with it, like running into an old friend.  I find it comforting.  And with books I’ve only read once or twice, I’m excited to find something new in the pages that I didn’t discover the first time.  

I recently reread “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and was pleasantly suprised to find some new nugget of truth in the episode where Eustace becomes a dragon and is saved by Aslan.  I was so desperate to tell someone about what I’d read, I actually begged Kelly to let me tell her, even though she’s reading the Chronicles of Narnia and hadn’t got to that book yet.

So why can’t I read the Bible like that?  With the warm fuzzies of meeting an old friend?  With the anticipation of finding something new?  Why does it seem more like a text-book, something to toil through and learn?  (I’ve always been horrible at reading text-books when required for school).  

But still, I am a information junkie.  I do read reference books for fun, just to learn something.  I’ve been known to run and grab a reference book or text book or even old class notes just because I had a sudden thought or question about something I’d read before, or something someone has said.

I’ll sheepishly admit to being pretty knowledgeable about the contents of the Bible.  I did Bible Drill as a kid (so glad my parents made me do that), and I can probably find a verse in any book of the Bible in a matter of seconds.  I can recite all the books in order.   Name a story, or a character, or even a concept or part of a verse and I can probably track it down pretty quickly (although has made me lazy recently).  I have Bible verses memorized in English as well as Spanish.  I know the meanings of a lot of the names of people & places in the Bible (Bethlehem means “house of bread”).   But I still can’t seem to find the desire to read it.

It’s pretty embarassing, since a lot of people know and recognize that I’m knowledgeable about the Bible.  And I will never hesitate to offer a verse, or point out a passage that will apply to someone’s life.  I’m pretty well known among my close friends as the one with a verse for every occaision.   I’ve been told it’s a spiritual gift.  So if I’m neglecting the Bible, how am I supposed to use my gift?  

So what’s the problem?  I wish I had a wonderful answer with which to conclude this xanga… but I don’t.  So I’ll just end it with the question…. what’s my mental block with the Bible?????


1 thought on “Tuesday February 1, 2005”

  1. Two things…one, I completely understand where you’re at, and I’m right there too. Two, I read something over break in Dallas Willard’s “Hearing God” that really encouraged me, that I’m going to pass on. This is a much less eloquent paraphrase, but basically he said that all too often, our lack of desire to read the Bible is because there are so many “should”s attached–I should read through it in a year; I should have entire books  memorized; I should know the Romans road, etc. Then he said that it would be better for us to read 5 verses a year that get ingrained into the pattern of our lives than to read the entire Bible through every year.
    So I guess this is kind of an encouragement…I think your knowledge of Scripture is a gift, and one that God will use despite your personal limitations (hello Moses! Jonah! Peter! Paul! Mary! [not the band, I just had to add her too]). And I think God is waiting for you to find ways to read Scripture that will excite you.
    I don’t know if you read Eva’s Xanga, but she posted a “Psalm in my own words” about a week ago. I’m trying that now, as my quiet time. Instead of saying, “I have to get through 3 chapters a day,” I’m reading a bit out of the Gospels in the Message translation, and then writing a psalm into my own words. It’s how I connect with God, and I believe He is pleased.
    Since this is probably the longest comment known to man, I’m going to go. 🙂

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