Some of you may remember I started an enews for reading the Bible 7 minutes a day 7 days a week. My friend Matt calls this 7×7. We read through Mark and Acts. Then I took a month off. Then I restarted with Matthew.
I was talking to a friend the other week. She was planning to unsubscribe. The speed with which we have been covering all the rich teaching in Matthew has been too much.
I said, “If it were up to me…” and then I started laughing. “If it were up to me, I would move more slowly, allowing for more reflection on individual teachings.”
I realized that it was up to me. And I realized that I wanted to slow down.
I had been giving about 5 minutes of reading each day, with reading defined as “the amount of time it takes to say the words.” But that’s not how I read. I adjust my reading speed to the amount of time that it takes for the words to make sense.
Sometimes this means that I can go through the words very quickly. I can read a novel fast. Sometimes this means that my reading speed is measured in weeks rather than minutes. I’ve been chewing on Colossians for a month, and that’s after spending a summer teaching it a couple years ago.
So I restarted Matthew last Monday. I started breaking the text into sections that I think are worth reflecting on for about 7 minutes a day. Sometimes it’s a long passage. Sometimes it’s a few sentences. Sometimes I’m using the same sections two days in a row.
Because covering territory is important sometimes. Reflecting carefully on the route, however, can allow the trip to change you. And that’s the point of following Jesus. To end the journey different.