This is part two of a conversation about reading the Bible that we started yesterday.
Second, schedule the conversation.
Recently, I started setting the chair time on my calendar for 5:45. I get up at 5:30, and the coffee maker runs at 5:17, so it’s ready when the alarm goes off. And I often look first at email. or facebook. or twitter. or all three. But I need a reminder so I have the alarm go off at 5:45 and I sit in my chair.
Most of us schedule important things. We set time for dates, not because it’s drudgery but because we need reminders. We set reminders for classes and for work because it’s important. (I wrote more about this recently).
So why not schedule conversations with God? In a chair? Routinely. Because that way we don’t have to decide when and where.
Third, read anything from the Bible.
I’m a reader. At any given time I have six books I’m reading from. business books, commentaries, writing books, Lord of the Rings. One day I was beating myself up for jumping around in my Bible reading and I thought, “But that’s how I read!” So I relaxed.
It’s okay to read various parts of the Bible from day to day. As you are sitting in your chair at the scheduled time, read the text from the sermon you heard Sunday. Or read the book of Mark. But read from the Bible (not just 300 words.) I’ll offer more suggestions about this one next week.
Fourth, ask God what he’s saying.
I (usually) love it when someone says, “What were you thinking about when you wrote this.” or when someone says, “I love that post” or they say, “Seriously? I’m not sure I agree.” I love it because it means I can talk to them. I can explain. I can engage. I can say, “Ah. look at what I wrote two months ago. That’s part of the same conversation.”
And I never have those conversations when no one asks. Because it’s tacky to say, “Have you read my blog?”
Since I assume that God is behind the words of the Bible, I make asking God questions part of the routine of interaction.