In the Five-Minute-Friday prompt for the end of 2015 is encouragement to share about the books we’ve read in 2015. I have read countless books: some I’m proud of and some were garbage that I didn’t even finish. Some were comedic and some made me cry. Reading is easy for me. I read fast, I read often (any chance I get, actually). Reading is my escape, my therapy and my comfort.
So why did it take me so long to read this particular book, all the way through? I turned 50 this year. That marked ‘old’ for me. It silently terrified me that I was indeed past middle age (most likely, although my grandma made it past 100) and still hadn’t done certain things.
One of those things was to read the Bible. Yes, I’m a Christian. I’m even a Christian school teacher. I’ve read every piece of the Bible at one time or the other. But I have never, in all the years in Christian education, both as a student and a teacher, in all the years of being a mommy, in all the years of church attendance and leadership – I have never once read the entire book from cover to cover.
I’ve never even wanted to or tried.As a Christian, why did it take me so long to read the Bible through? #fmf #2015books via@caregivermom Click To Tweet
So this year, 2015, I promised myself to read it. When I sat down to write the five-minute-Friday prompt, I had to leave the computer and go read the last two books of the Bible I hadn’t gotten to yet.
I did it. I accomplished my goal.
I thought I’d feel better. I thought I’d feel a sense of accomplishment, of a more profound spiritual understanding, of a deeper commitment to God or a firmer relationship.
Instead I sit here looking back over my year. 2015 started with a driver spinning out of control and totaling our car on January 1 (but no one was hurt, don’t worry). We spent a good portion of January trying to find affordable transportation. In February our dog (my best buddy) passed away. In the summer months we spent weeks cleaning out my mother-in-law’s house and selling the family home (tough stuff!). In September my daughter left on a 9 month volunteer experience in Guatemala. In October I flew back to spend a few days helping my mom care for my dad. He passed away about 4 hours after I arrived. Three days from my dad’s funeral service, my husband’s grandma passed away. In November our car burst into a cloud of smoke while my second daughter was driving. She safely pulled to the side, but the car was a goner.
A week and a half ago the same daughter parked at a friend’s house. The dad of the house pulled out of the garage to go to work and swung wide – wide into the entire right side of our car. It’s in the shop. Three cars in one year. Meanwhile world politics and economics are ugly and horrible and the world is a mess.
And my accomplishment was to read the Bible through. To read that way back in Zechariah’s time the world was just as ugly. To remember that the Israelites were indeed as stupid as I remembered and to marvel a the perfection in the life of my Savior. To see Haggai express my exact sentiments (why are you doing nothing about the mess, Lord?) To skim through stories I memorized long ago when my mother read them to me and past memory verses I taught my children and Psalms I’ve sung with my grade-school kids. To review promises I’ve been taught for years and to hold onto those verses that have become my life-blood these last 8 years.
I’ve been disappointed, in my journey of reading the Bible all the way through. It wasn’t stunning and I don’t feel profoundly changed.Was my read-through-the-Bible experience a crash and burn? #fmf #2015books via@caregivermom Click To Tweet
It wasn’t a waste. Reading the Bible, in spite of the lack of sparkle and fireworks, was not a waste because I am not the least bit disappointed in my God. See, I’ve been learning, these last 50 years, that my God has chosen the still small voice to communicate with me. He hasn’t screamed and hit me over the head, but He has chosen to work in quiet ways in my soul. He blessed me with parents who taught me about love and about God when I was so young that I have no memory of learning of God’s saving grace. I’ve always just known. I’ve always just trusted. I am blessed to have lived for 50 years with such a close connection to the Bible that when I read it straight through, I didn’t find much new. Just because I hadn’t read it in order, didn’t mean I hadn’t read it. God has been working on my heart for years. He worked through the Bible this year too, I’m just used to it. It wasn’t new and stunning – it was comfortable.
My God and I are comfortable together. I’m good with that.
Thanks for the Book and the chat, Lord.
What does 2016 hold?
Check out more in the 31 Days of Unexpected Blessings in Caregiving!