If you're anything like me, you're easily distracted and always pressed for time. That's about par for the course these days. With technology at our fingertips and the news feed constantly updating itself with new posts and statuses and pictures of people's friend's babies to "like," it's as if things never slow down. Life is fast-paced, and we shove as much as we can into our day to fill the voids and gaps without taking any time for ourselves to just rest
Which is why, when I started The One Year Bible
plan on my iPhone YouVersion
Bible app last year, I thought for sure I'd fail at it, but I knew I needed to give it a shot. It's something I'd tried to do on my own and have always failed at.
When I was in college, I worked at a desk for several hours a day. We were allowed to do our homework while on the clock, but once that was done, I needed something else to do. For a while, I tried to read the Bible cover to cover. Then I got to Leviticus. Who actually likes
reading Leviticus? I read the whole book in two sittings, basically skimming the whole thing. Then I got to Numbers. I thought that by getting Leviticus over quickly I'd be home-free. Guess again! I got lost somewhere in Judges, and by that time it was finals week and I was too busy studying to keep going. I put the Bible down and picked up the textbooks.
I never attempted to read the entire Bible through again until last year. I don't really know why I decided to do it except that I knew my quiet times with God were lacking. I'd tried to read the Bible on paper in a year and it didn't work, but maybe a reading plan on my phone would work better. It's certainly not the most conventional way to read the Bible, but it is becoming more popular. There has to be some reason why more and more people are using the Bible on their iPhones in church -- whether you like it or not.
I started The One Year Bible plan on New Years Eve 2011 and, yes, I did get behind a few times. But unlike last time, I felt like I had a mechanism to get me caught up. It also helps that this particular plan doesn't go straight through the Bible cover to cover. Instead, it is a passage from the Old Testament, a passage from the New Testament, a Psalm and a Proverb. It breaks the scripture down into shorter passages, which I found actually helped me remember the stories I read -- especially those of the Old Testament, which I had never read before.
Now I'm not trying to write an advertisement for iPhone Bibles, the YouVersion app or Tyndale, who created The One Year Bible plan. What I am trying to do is encourage you that, yes, it can be done. I finished the entire Bible on December 30, 2012. I took a day off, looked through the plans on the app, and then, on December 1, I restarted the same plan over again. After a year of doing it, I just can't imagine not having it there every morning to start my day. It's become a permanent fixture of my life. Whereas before I had trouble fitting time with God into my day, now it's something I can't go without.
I want to leave you with a challenge: try it for yourself. Do it the way that works best for you, and don't give up until you find the method that fits your lifestyle. Because the scriptures are incredibly important to our lives as Christians, and the more we invest ourselves in private spiritual disciplines, the more God can teach us, mold us and grow us into the people He wants us to be. Have you ever read the entire Bible through in a year? Have you started it at the start of this new year? Are you willing to give it a shot? What impact has reading scripture daily had on your life?