Day number 2:  Spend time in my Bible every day.

How my priorities should lie out:

  1. God
  2. My husband
  3. My children
  4. My family
  5. My work
  6. My workout
  7. Everything else

The way they really lay out:

  1. My kids
  2. My work
  3. My workout
  4. My husband
  5. My family
  6. Everything else
  7. God

When I am honest with myself, that’s the way it unfolds.   It doesn’t seem so wrong, until you imagine sitting with Jesus and telling him why you don’t have any time for him.  Here is how I justify my priorities:  “I have very young children. They of course need me at this time in their life.  God has called me to be a good mother, right? “Or “I of course have to work as much as I do.  We have a mission of promoting an active lifestyle and God has called me to this too, right?” and “Working out is part of my job”.  None of these are untrue…it’s just that God called us to make him number 1.

When I get up or finally get around to making my to do list for the day, you know the one where you determine the things that you HAVE to get done on that day, is spending time with God even on there?  Ugh, not usually.  Why not?

First of all, I think it is because most of us don’t even know how to really go about that.  We have never really done it, so how do you really go about spending time with God.  Sometimes it feels like you are sitting down and talking with yourself.  I mean, is God really there?  I know how to spend time with Mark or my friends or even at church, but how do I spend time with God?  Second, I think I worry about what my spouse or my friends or whoever will think if they see me reading my bible on a regular basis.   Let’s break this down for a second….

We don’t know how.  Let’s be honest, the bible does not read like a steamy romance novel or an action movie.  The genealogy reports in the Old Testament are almost as brutal and as lengthy as spending 8 hours in the car with a 3 year old.  And, if you are someone who doesn’t like to read in the first place, the bible isn’t the place to hook you on the merits of reading.  So, it can seem weird, even completely useless to sit down and “read” the bible or “spend time in God’s word.”  But, if we are to get to know Christ, this is where we must start. Some parts of Christianity don’t make sense until we are just obedient.  God says read the Bible.  So, read it.  He seems like a pretty reliable source to get advice from.  So, I’m going to start in the New Testament, with Mathew and I am going to read a chapter a day.  The New Testament is much easier to read than the old and much easier to apply to life.  It’s a good place to start.  Plus, if you are pretty forgetful and hard headed, as I am, there is a lot of repetition between Mathew, Mark, Luke and John, and so you might actually learn something once you get through all four of them J.

What will people think?  Quick story.  I have some wonderful, wonderful, wonderful friends and I was discussing this idea with one of them recently.  She, her husband, and their entire family have been great examples for our family to follow and I hold them in very high esteem, thinking that they are probably on the fast track to the VIP club in heaven.   They have grown up in the church, go every week, are pillars at their church, send their children to Christian school etc.  So, I assumed that what I was struggling with would most definitely not be their struggle.  When I mentioned reading my bible at home and how I rarely do it, my friend said “I know!  I’m always worried what my husband might think.  Like he is going to think I am being weird or something.”  What?!  This cannot be.  I imagined them holding hands and praying on every issue from the kind of rice to buy at the store to what kind of flowers to plant in their yard to how to reform their unruly friends (us) .  This was a shock.  But what it told me is that once again, there must be SOOOO many people out there in the same boat, worried about what a spouse or a friend or whoever will think.  And, I was relieved to know that I wasn’t alone and that perhaps we could step out together.

To make matters worse, there is almost a stigma for being “into” the Christian faith and I am ashamed to say that I, as a Christian sometimes perpetuate this stigma.   “I’m a Christian, but I’m not one of THOSE kinds of Christians.  I’m a normal Christian that isn’t going to talk about it anywhere or do anything weird at church or wear a shirt about Jesus or anything.”  You know what?  Our great country was founded on this faith.  Most of the values we hold dear in our hearts are due to the Christian faith.   We have forgotten how important it is in every aspect of our lives.  We are taking it for granted. Being a Christian is awesome.  I’m not sure how the stigma started, but I’m done with it.  And I am done worrying about what people think.

Ok, so let’s be honest again, reading my bible every day doesn’t ensure that God will be the number 1 priority in my life all the time.  I am pretty confident that I am not perfect, and that I will always have to strive to stay focused on Him and pray that his priorities will become mine.  Clearly, this will not fix the fact that I live in the world, am easily distracted and have the basic human condition of being a sinner.  But, I do know, that if I don’t spend time in his word, I am missing out on one of the most basic and critical tools of our faith, the bible.  It’s really a very simple step in His direction…..hoping to move just a little further down the continuum.

Today I spent time reading his word and tomorrow, before I do anything else, I’m going to do it again.  5:30 am….here I come.  Join me….virtual bible study tomorrow morning.  It’s going to be awesome.

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