‘Tis the season to assess how the year has gone and what could be improved upon for 2020. We are doing this in a laid-back manner here in our snow-capped valley as sundry viruses have come to ring in the new year with us… I have a Word document open with several questions to guide me through the process. Ok, I’ll admit I’m a lover of fill-in-the-blanks and of journal-keeping so this is great fun for me and even more satisfying to compare year by year…Mine is a cobbled together list of questions borrowed and adapted. For instance:
What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
What was the most challenging thing that happened?
What was an unexpected joy? An unexpected obstacle?
What were the best books you read in 2019?
With whom were your most valuable relationships?
What was your biggest personal challenge?
In what ways did you grow emotionally? spiritually? physically?
What three words best capture 2019?
What was the year’s biggest time waster?
What was the best way you used your time this past year?
What were the most important things you learned this year?
Any firsts? Any lasts? [OK, I’ll admit I just added these last two. Did I say I like fill-in-the-blanks?]
And from there my musings ease into expectations for the upcoming year. You get the idea. And in this process, habits are reviewed and firmed up or jettisoned from my schedule, including the habit of Bible Reading.
For six years now I’ve been really, really enjoying a lightened variation on ‘Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System’. If you’re a long-time reader here you already know my enthusiasm for reading multiple chapters from multiple genres each day. I’ve gone on at great length about it in various posts, such as Some Bible Reading Pointers and included an explanatory link in the sidebar of my blog [see: Bible Reading Plans] (You’ll find links there to lots of other plans as well!) Although I’m still a whole-hearted enthusiast for reading this way I’m laying it aside this year to join some local ladies in following somebody else’s roughly chronological compilation of chapters. It’s called “The Five Day Bible Reading Program” and is freely available here: The Five-Day Bible Reading Program
This particular schedule begins on January 5th with readings in Genesis, Mark and Psalms. I plan to keep a little notebook in hand as I read to jot down phrases or thoughts that capture my attention from each chapter. It continuously amazes me how Scripture is its own best commentary and how its themes are woven from first to last into such a harmonious whole regardless of the genre at hand.
My greatest misgiving about the whole thing is the tic off boxes and the dated schedule so that it appears I can get ‘behind’ in reading the Word of God. I’ve learned over the years that this is a great hazard and counter-productive to gaining delight in reading the Word… So I will trust that the Spirit of God can speak to me on any given day from any given passage, even if I get ‘behind’ schedule. He’s always right on time, never in a hurry, never late. His Word is living and active; let’s dig in!
And now where was I? You see, I was in the middle of filling in the blanks of my MS Word document when somehow I ended up here at the blog re-reading old posts…taking stock of my inconsistency in writing this year…And one thing led to another and here I am writing again. Thanks for taking time to read as you usher in a new year. I’d love to know how you plan to spend time in the Word this year. May you find God’s Words to be sweeter than honey and packed with life-giving nutrients to fuel your year.
Your words were found, and I ate them,
And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;
For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.
Jer. 15:16 NKJV