Every Sunday morning, I make muffins. (You can see some of the goofy pictures in this #weeklymuffin album on Facebook.) While I’m baking, I usually listen to a course from the Teaching Company.
But this week I tried something new. You see, weekends are my most consistent times with these 14 minute passages. Monday mornings usually find me catching up with Saturday, Sunday, and Monday’s passages. But today, I clicked on the little speaker up on the right. It turns out, BibleGateway.com has the entire Bible as read by Max McLean!
It’s so easy listening to the Bible this way. In the course of baking and getting ready for church, I worked through the entire book of Job! Just as much as I love reading the larger, 14 minute passages, I found myself hearing things differently as the Bible was read to me. Especially with Job. His “comforters” talk for entire chapters. I found listening to them helped me get the bigger picture more easily.
If you’re doing the 14 minutes a day, consider trying the audio option. You may find listening to the passages could be a good alternative to reading it. Listening might even help make commutes a bit more character-building than only focusing on the news is.
In the past couple weeks, we’ve packed up our house in Maine, spent days driving down to South Carolina, and have moved into a rental in Greenville and started unpacking.
And in the process, I’ve missed entire days of 14’s! Which has “allowed” me to read the entire book of Deuteronomy in just three sittings! (I read my 14’s while on an exercise bike. So it’s win-win.)
Jon Swanson and I created the 14’s to allow people to get into the passage a bit more than just reading a couple verses. But in these three readings, I’ve gotten to read h-u-g-e sections of the text. And it reminds me, there are many stories in the Bible of entire books being read at public gatherings.
Including readings of Deuteronomy. It’s been interesting trying to picture standing up in a hot, dusty place listening to Moses talk. (My picture of the first telling of this book.) It makes the repetitions make more sense. Last week, we went to the open house for the art school my son will be attending. Since it was an “open house” without a set start time, we got to here his teacher’s information loop and grow. He’d repeat himself, keeping the core information the same but adding different emphasis or stories each time. Moses sort of does this in Deuteronomy too. I think I would’ve missed that if I hadn’t read it in this format.
So while I aim to do my 14’s daily, it’s still a tool if I let them clump up. (Have I told you I am a pretty over-the-top optimist?)
I’d forgotten how many different emotions this 14 Minutes a Day experiment surfaces. Reading through Genesis today, some of the questions I wrestled with included:
- Do I need to read quickly to make sure I’m done in 14 minutes?
- Do I need to read slowly to be able to regurgitate every detail perfectly?
- Should I s-l-o-w down to listen for God in between the words?
Not about performance
I am humbled by how “performance” based these questions are. And how “man pleasing.” (Reminds me of that Petra song, “God Pleaser.”) I have to keep reminding myself that while the discipline of daily Bible reading is important, it’s not to “pass a test.”
I choose to read the Bible daily to grow in relationship with Jesus. And like Richard J. Foster said in Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, God isn’t going to scold me for doing this any more than I’d get upset for a little child curling up in my lap and falling asleep.
Thank You Jesus for that reminder.