For most of my adult life, I have made reading the Bible a part of my regimen.
The past 2 years I have read it completely through 4 times, and the New Testament more times than that. I have accomplished this by reading a set number of chapters per day. Reading 4 chapters per day, I can read the Bible through twice in a year.
For quite some time, I have been reading 5 chapters per day, usually one of the first things in the morning. It has simply become a habit, a good, commendable habit.
I do not use this preface to commend myself, or to brag. On the contrary, reading the Bible has done the opposite. Acts 20:32 says, “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”
I can testify that reading—and doing—the word of God has built me up. At the same time, it has helped tear “me” down, helping me to get rid of old ways, old thoughts, old desires, none of which have profited me previously.
Beginning reading this time, I decided to take a different approach. I love to take leisurely drives through the country, soaking in the atmosphere and the scenery and the people. That is the approach I have taken through the Bible this time. While continuing my regular reading schedule, I have decided to lay aside any preconceived notions of what the Bible says or means. I am merely taking it in as it passes.
Do not misunderstand. I am a serious Bible student. I want to discover things that have been hidden in plain sight to me, but without inventing new ideas or philosophies about what the Bible means.
I have to confess I am enjoying this approach, just as I love driving trips through the country, even though I may have seen the same things many times over.
I suppose as much as anything, the leisurely approach—which will undoubtedly go away after I complete this round—has taken self-imposed understanding of scripture off the board, and gotten it out of the way.
I remember, at ages 16 and 17, the very first time I read the Bible. It filled me with awe, with amazement. I had been raised fairly much as an unchurched child, except for one year when I was in the first grade and learned some Bible stories I have never forgotten.
I am being suffused with that same type of awe and amazement again. Sometimes I still say, “I do not understand this part,” just like when I was 16 years old, but I always follow it with, “but I am going to take it as truth, even if I cannot explain it or understand it.”
You may want to take a leisurely trip through the Bible as well, especially if you are an older, long-time Christian as I am. You likely will enjoy it.