When I first told myself that I want to read the Bible daily, I found it very hard to be disciplined. First, I didn’t know where to start. I tried reading from cover to cover, but after I got to Leviticus, I got so sleepy. Then I changed my strategy and switched to New Testament. I managed to read the whole thing until halfway through Revelation, just by sheer will. But then, I felt nothing, like I was reading just because I was determined to read. And I didn’t remember most of what I read, it didn’t stay in my heart, so to speak. So now, what I find extremely helpful is following the Daily Mass Readings. I have been going to Daily Mass everyday for the past 6 months or so, and it was a tremendous help in my spiritual growth. So, I followed the Scripture from the readings and during the homily, I can feel the Word become alive, and I started to understand how to apply the Bible in everyday’s life.
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Similar approaches, different outcomes
I too tried to read the Bible cover to cover the first time that I read it. I read it voraciously and actually enjoyed Leviticus. Though it may not have been obvious, I believed that there was some hidden message to be learned from all those laws. The belief of the presence of hidden messages seemed encouraged by words like “let he who has ears to hear, let him hear” suggesting that only some will be able to find and discern those hidden messages.
So, I read through the whole thing that first time, thinking that every little thing would be useful because by the end I would see how they all fit together into something very special.
And no workable (that’s the key part) conclusions came to me. So, after reading it, I actually felt a little frustrated and a little stuck. I hadn’t gotten the wisdom that I wanted.
From this I learned that, while the Bible offers some wisdom, God is the source of all wisdom, and only so much wisdom fits on paper, and the Bible can not contain all wisdom because it is a book limited by the number of words in it, but God is unlimited in the amount of wisdom that He can dispense to us.
In short, back then, I was reading when I should have been praying, I suppose. Now, many years later, I think I’ve learned my lesson.
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