I had a really good idea.
Shortly after Christmas, I was at the library for the first time in about two years. The last time I was there was to pay a $50 fine and give them a copy of the police report I filed after someone stole my keys, including the mini library card attached, and checked out a LONG list of books that they never had any intention of returning. Since I haven’t been reading much since then, it took me until now to get back there and get a new library card. So I was at the library, and came across the Bible on CD. Actually many CDs, 60 to be exact. So I picked up the CDs, and decided I could put them in my car to use them during my commute. That would be an hour a day more of the Bible than I would otherwise accomplish. Surely this was the solution to my struggles of incorporating more time for reading the Bible.
As I checked out the binder of CDs, I confirmed the due date with the librarian, and when I commented that I probably wouldn’t finish them all in three weeks, she made a comment that is both true and bothersome. She said that I could just renew it, because she was pretty sure there wouldn’t be a big rush on people wanting to have it as well. While I know that is true, there is never going to be a long line of people out the door to check out 60 CDs of someone reading the Bible, I guess I just found it disheartening the way she said it with such a snarky tone.
But off I went with my massive binder of Bible CDs. I have a 6-disc player in my car, so I loaded up all but the first. (The first slot is reserved for the Wiggles, and a certain someone who regularly rides in the back seat would not be pleased if that was removed.) For a week, both to and from work, I listened.
I had problems. There are many versions of the Bible, and this CD compilation happened to use the King James Version. I doth have-eth a very difficult time-eth understanding-eth this version. So listening to these CDs required pretty strong concentration, and many times I missed the point of the words I was hearing because it was almost being spoken in a language I can’t understand. I also found myself drifting away to unrelated thoughts as the reader went along, and while I got the gist of where in the Bible we were, what story was being told, I was definitely missing the message. And there really is something I missed about sitting and reading the words on the page, re-reading and absorbing the verses as I go along.
After a week, I stopped. I knew that for me, this wasn’t the right way to do this. But I struggled with giving in, because I have not been able to find a consistent way to continue reading the Bible. I read portions on Sundays. I read portions at the occasional small group or Bible study. But beyond that, I struggle. I was reminded today at church, however, that reading the Bible from cover to cover is not what saves me. Reading the Bible shouldn’t be a “to-do” on my checklist. Until I can find a way to spend meaningful time learning and applying the messages in that book, just reading it to read it is pointless.
So I’m returning the CD’s this week. Maybe the librarian was wrong, and there actually is a person out there who wants these. They, most likely, need these more than I do, because this just didn’t work for me. I don’t know what to try next when it comes to this topic. But I bet if I stop trying to do it myself, stop listening to the words and start hearing the message, it will be a good start.