Can I be honest with you? My daily Bible reading times have become stale. Not because God's Word has lost it's oomph! No, not at all! But, because I have lost mine!
Before I continue, let me add, I love God's Word! It is truly manna to my soul. My spiritual daily bread. The living and active Word Of God, able to penetrate my soul and spirit, joints and marrow, judging the thoughts and attitudes of my heart! (Shudder)!
However, after reading the Bible for nearly 40 years, reading through it, perhaps, a dozen times, studying it, teaching it, and memorizing large portions of it, recently, I have had a really hard time using my old, familiar methods to have a daily "quiet time!"
Let me be clear, there is probably not a day that goes by when I do not talk about, listen to, read, pray, meditate upon, and/or memorize truth, passages, and promises from the Bible. However, the daily practice of setting aside special time to be in God's Word, which was instilled in me as a new Christian decades ago, has been hit and miss lately.
Yes, sometimes it's travel or crazy schedules or, dare I say it, other distractions, like social media. However, this week, I discovered it has been something more.
May I give you an example from my parenting days? When my children were young, I invented a chores chart using a big green poster board which I made to look like a football field, with each 10 yard line representing a chore they were to do. I also cut out brown footballs from construction paper. Then, when the kids would do their chores they could move their football down the field toward a touchdown, which was some sort of prize or monetary reward.
The only problem was, after several weeks, my kids would get bored with it. And, it would become ineffective. So, occasionally, I would create a new theme like a soccer field or a baseball diamond. Thus, making the chores charts fresh and fun again.
I tell you all this to say, like my children, I had grown too familiar with my forty year old methods of daily devotions. May I also confess, I have felt guilt and shame and frustration about this, because, with all my heart, I know this an incredibly valuable spiritual discipline in my life.
I have prayed about it. I have tried my old systems, like a One Year Bible, reading systematically or topically, journaling my takeaways, and listening to the audio Bible. All of these have been, and are, wonderful and effective methods. Still, I have had a hard time sticking with one of these "regulars," lately.
Until, last week. I happened to be at my son's house, where they had just received a shipment of devotionals called, Lectio Divina Journals. I had seen them before and even purchased a couple, but I had given them away. This time, however, my eight year old granddaughter asked if she could have one. And, while I was there, she began answering the questions inside. She wrote diligently for a long time. So I finally asked her, "I would love to hear your heart. Would you be willing to share a couple of the things you have been writing?"
At first she was hesitant, but then she began to read. Wow, I was totally blown away by the insights of my oldest grandchild. Intrigued by what inspired her thoughts, I asked if I could buy a couple more of those journals. Then I went home, and although they are dated, like my granddaughter, I began on page one.
Can I tell you, this journal, and it's new (yet, very old) approach to daily devotions, is just what this weary soul needed. It is a fresh way, for me anyway, to spend time preparing my heart, mediating on a passage, listening to what the Lord has to say to me, turning it into my prayers, and becoming my meditation for the days ahead. I can hardly wait to do each day's reading. And, to be honest, I haven't felt that way for a long time.
So tonight, I'm keeping it real! Sometimes, we might need to ask the Lord for a new plan, a new "chores chart" you might say, to freshen up our old familiar daily devotions, to make them exciting and energizing and precious once again! Not because God's Word has lost it's pizzazz, but, maybe, because we have lost ours.
Am I the only one? Just in case I'm not, I thought I would share my heart with you tonight. Plus, if you happen to be interested in giving the Lectio Divina Devotional Journal a try, I can hook you up. Just leave a message. And I pray, like me, if your daily devo's have become stale, that God will show you a fresh way to spend time, each day, in His living and active and personal and powerful and very precious Word! God bless you dear one!