A note on the process…
December 12, 2010
The more alert among you may have noticed that I’ve changed the tagline of my blog to ‘Reading the Bible in a Year, or However Long it Takes…’ This is because recently I’ve been a bit slack on the whole ‘daily’ blog thing. Busy-ness and illness and forgetfulness conspire against this little endeavour of mine. I keep catching myself in the middle of the evening think “aaw! I haven’t done my blog…arg!” (yes those noises actually occur). And sometimes I make myself do it. But sometimes I simply don’t.
Tonight I am tempted to do a botched job. I’ve read most of the chapters of Genesis I need to for my next post, and I could probably produce some ideas about the way Jacob marrying two sisters who compete for his affections by producing male heirs and getting their servants to do likewise makes me feel a mixture of sad and uncomfortable. The problem is that I would be producing it for the sake of writing a blog post. There would be nothing thoughtful, certainly nothing prayerful about it. Not that all my posts have been so, but then that’s kind of the point.
I find myself asking ‘why am I doing this?’ Is it so a few people can be impressed by piety and commitment as I post my daily musings on scripture? Or is it because I really want to form a relationship, to wrestle with, to listen to the Bible? If it is the latter then forcing myself to skim read and write late night ramblings will not fulfil my purpose. But wait! That could be a cop-out. Am I just making excuses about how I can’t possibly keep this up as a daily practice, how it actually makes me a better Christian not to? (I don’t really buy into this hierarchy of Christians malarkey, but you catch my drift.)
With any spiritual practice – and I do like to think of this process in that category – it easy to do two things; to make it into a chore so that there is no life, no joy in it and to make the fact that it’s become a chore an excuse not to do it so often, or even at all. But getting on with the Bible is like any relationship, you start out fresh as excited and then at some point you have to start putting some work in. Things don’t stay new unless they are cultivated. And it is easy to feel like you don’t have time to read, to reflect, to pray, to sing, when you’re not making any time. Now, you may be a really and truly busy person, but me? I’ll be honest, I can make time to watch Strictly Come Dancing so I have no real excuses.
So, dear reader, I promise you this: that you will receive a blog post, and I will make time for the Bible, every day this week. Honest. And thanks for reading because knowing that one or two of you actually enjoy this is making me stick with it.
And what about you? I wonder if there is anything that you once loved that is feeling like a chore for you at the moment? Prayer, meditation, a friendship, your job, your hobby even. How could you breathe new life intoit? Perhaps by taking a break, or by clearing some room around it, so that it’s not just another thing on your list.
Or perhaps there’s something you used to do but you gave up on because it became a chore. Do you ever miss it? That way of praying? That instrument you were learning? That bible study? That friendship that really started getting on your nerves? That place of worship, even? Perhaps you could return to it, just as an experiment, just to see if it really was a chore, or if you talked and busied yourself out of something nourishing. I’d be interested to hear what happens…
My prayer for us this week is that even in this season of 1000 commitments we make time for whatever gives us joy.
Let’s not let life get in the way of living.