On my way to losing a marathon!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

There's good stories and there's gooder stories

This is about a gooder story.

I've read through the Bible before. A few times, actually, but I feel like they all deserve an asterisk. My first time was in high school, starting during one of my summer mission trips. I started with Psalms and the New Testament, and then went back and read starting in Genesis. But I believe I quit very near the end of the Old Testament, and missed the last few minor prophets, at least while reading sequentially.

The second time started in college. Shane and I set out to read through the Bible "in a year", together but separately. That took about 4 years. Maybe 5. It was bad.

Then shortly before Madelyn was born, we decided to go through it together, which entailed Shane reading aloud to me before bed every night. We were doing great until the baby was born. Since "bed time" back then meant I would be spending the next 3-6 hours walking through the house like a zombie, we had a hard time scheduling our evenings back then. Just the same, we eventually started back up again, and finished the whole Bible in about 16-17 months. Significant improvement.

Starting January first, we began reading through the Bible again, in the "together but separate" manner we'd done before. This time, though, using youversion.com to track progress. I cannot promote this site enough. Thanks to youversion, I have the NASB on my ipod. If and when I get a few days behind, I know exactly what I need to read to catch up. There are also about a million different reading plans, so you're not simply reading Genesis through Revelation over and over. Currently, we're going through the Bible chronologically.

I'm constantly amazed by how much I'm learning on my 4th read through of this book. Reading the Bible this last couple of times has caused me to question God and the stories I grew up with more than ever. Who is this God? What does this story sound like if you didn't grow up hearing it over and over again?

The Bible has an internal continuity to it that I could never have learned to appreciate if I didn't have the chance to be "in the Word" as they say. There is an incredible richness, an attention to every detail that makes me increasingly convinced that this is, at the very least, the most incredible piece of literature ever written. Reading in Numbers and Deuteronomy have enhanced my understanding and appreciate for Jesus Christ, born THOUSANDS of years after those books were penned.

I've also developed a greater understanding of and appreciation for the STORY of the Bible. Not stories, not the short bits and pieces tales, but the Meta-narrative that carries from the creation of the universe to the spreading of the Word throughout the world. There are characters in here, characters that suffer, and grow, who experience pain and joy and sorrow and anger. I find myself actually getting wrapped up in their moments, feeling their emotions, and being gripped by stories that, well, I thought I already knew. Some how, and I don't know how, maybe it's my age, or my attention span, but I've picked up so much more on this read through already than I've ever noticed before.

I guess my point here is that a good story doesn't grow old or stale. It stands the test of time. Steel magnolias can make me tear up, no matter how many times I've watched it. I've read The Giver at least 3 times, and loved every minute of it. And the Bible is not just a good story. It's an incredible story. It's rich and deep and layered, and despite being written by numerous authors over thousands of years, has a continuity that Hollywood should be panting over.

And as it's high time the baby goes down for her morning nap, I'd better go. Have a blog-worthy day!

1 comment:

  1. I thought when I read the title of this blog it'd be about LOST ... but I'm glad to know it's about the Bible. I think reading the Bible chronilogically has been fantastic, also! It really makes the overall story come together and God is pretty amazing in how He reveals Himself through time to people. Yay for Bible!

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