What if you decided to read the Bible?

What if you simply decided to spend seven weeks reading the Bible? For a couple months setting aside the usual distractional reading, the escape reading, the three-minute-break reading, the just-one-more-link reading. Making the Bible be your reading while you fall asleep, while you are waking up, while you are in the bathroom, while you are avoiding other work. Perhaps even making the Bible your self-improvement reading, your how-to-get-ahead-by-starting-my-own-business reading.

At some point, you’d have to come up with your answer to the inevitable question. “Why are you doing that?” You could quote what Jesus said to the devil: “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Except that sounds a little spiritually pretentious.

  • You’d have to decide whether this means not reading road signs (“Seriously? That’s just a bizarre thought”)
  • What about menus?
  • What about facebook and twitter status updates? “Maybe updates, but no links to other articles. After all, you aren’t giving up conversations with people, are you? Are you?”
  • What about books about the Bible?
  • Are you going to ignore your mail for the next two months? “Just from some people.”
  • What if your boss assigns you some reading?

But what if you decided that you wouldn’t try to anticipate every point of conflict but instead simply decided that you were going to try?

You’d probably look for all the places you have books now and figure out what book of the Bible would fit with what you read in that place.

  • For the bathroom, you might have a copy of the book of Proverbs: you can start and stop just about anywhere. And some are kind of funny.
  • For the exercise bike stories that can distract you from the pain. Think Matthew or Mark. And actually put the text on your bike.
  • For right before go to sleep, you might want to avoid Revelation. And probably not Lamentations. But certainly some of Psalms. And a Bible with those pages marked would make it easy.
  • Instead of the daily stock market news, Ecclesiastes. Particularly if you don’t actually have any stocks.

My friend Rob talks about this as putting success in your way. In this case, knowing enough about your habitual reading places to put what you are wanting to read in those places.

So, what do you think? What would it take to have the best possible opportunity to succeed at reading just the Bible for seven weeks? Hypothetically, of course.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.