Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Bible in 1 Year

I have this strange fetish that I have to read every book I start from cover to cover. I also do this with newspapers and magazines. I am not sure why, but I am very uncomfortable with not finishing a book once I have started it and I do not like to read random chapters out of a book or start in the middle or do anything except read it cover to cover. I know that this goes back to when I was a kid. I can remember that the library at my elementary school had an entire section of biographies of historical figures. These books were written for children, but they were quite large (~150-200 pages). For some reason, I decided to read an entire row of that section, and that is exactly what I did. I started with the first book, read it cover to cover, and then went down the row until I had completed all of them. I recall the sense of satisfaction from knowing that I had read the entire book and then the entire row. I now find myself struggling to enjoy the book and what I am learning as much as I simply enjoy the satisfaction of knowing I read the whole thing.

Well, I say all of that to explain my actions in reading the Bible in 1 year*. For one of my New Year's Resolutions, I decided that I needed to read the entire Bible. So, I set a course of reading 4 chapters a day, which means that I would probably have finished in late October. However, I have become increasingly frustrated with falling behind in my reading and almost feeling a burden to accomplish this task. So, rather than simply giving up, I decided to get more aggressive. As you may have noticed, I finished all of the books that I was currently reading this past weekend. I did that so I could focus all of my reading time and energy on the Bible. Now I am not going to read according to any specific schedule, I am just going to read as much as I can to get through it as quickly as possible. I hope to have the whole thing done in a few months.

This probably sounds crazy to an outside observer, perhaps even to the point that this will do more damage than good. I recognize that it is a little disturbing to take the mindset that I am going to read only my Bible so I can "get through it as quickly as possible." However, reading like this is deeply ingrained into who I am as a person. I do not think I could live with the idea of just giving up something I started to do. My plan is to read the Bible all the way through so I can begin my next project of taking cohesive passages and studying them in depth. I may be a little nuts in the head, but what harm can it do to read the whole Bible?


*I consider the Bible to be more than a book - I believe the Bible is the Word of God. For this reason, my rule of needing to read a book cover to cover does not necessarily apply to the Bible. I have no problem reading random passages in the Bible and skipping around from book to book or chapter to chapter. However, this will be the 8th time that I have read the Bible cover to cover. The amazing thing to me is that the more I read the Bible, the more I realize how much I have to learn and how much I do not understand. I do not think the Bible is a book that can be mastered (at least not in this lifetime).

2 comments:

Erik said...

Todd,

Hey man, i TOTALLY relate to your fetish of book reading and Magazine reading (maybe not news papers, cause I don’t read news papers… the sports section sometimes). But yea, I REALLY like to read a book all the way through. There is huge satisfaction of have read cover to cover. I recently counted all my book and came up with number of how many book I have read cover to cover, how many I have partially read, and how many I haven’t touch (this number was way to high). This all having to do with my weird little head.

I thought about not buying any books this year and just reading the ones I already have. But nah!

I have 2 partially read book on my self and they yell at me every night, taunting me with the power of unread pages. Kills me! I’ll get to em. But they are both massive and really slow reads! OH G!

For now, I will just plow through my Relevant Magazines and feel good about myself. ;-)

We need to talk soon!

Shalom
~~Erik

jeff said...

Yeah, I'm the same way. Sometimes I suffer through crappy books just because I CANNOT leave a book partially read. I try to read for at least 30 minutes each night but when I hit a stinker I find myself skipping nights, reading just a couple pages at a time, and generally taking way too long on a book that I don't really like. What's that about?