For those of you who haven't been following my summer reading, I joined a challenge to read through the entire Bible in 90 days. This requires about an hour of reading each day and is a speed course on the Bible. Well, I finished yesterday, in only 83 days.
I have had several people ask me what I thought about this challenge and style of reading, so I am going to share some things I have been thinking about.
Let me start by saying that I highly recommend this crash course to everyone, at least once in your life, for a number of reasons.
- It gives an incredible perspective on salvation history and flow of God's action through Israel. You see more clearly the chaos and rebellion of Israel, and you see God's incredible patience and his holiness. This strongly plays into how you read the revelation of Jesus, the discipline of the church and the final wrath of God in Revelation.
- Because past books were so fresh in my mind, I began to see patterns and repetition that I had never noticed before, adding to my understanding of scripture.
- Reading through the entirety of scripture (whether in 90 days or over the course of a year) gives a better perspective for understanding the context of smaller portions you may read or study.
- This style of reading, in only 90 days, requires a serious commitment and significant sacrifice. In addition to the benefits listed above, the discipline, sacrifice and faithfulness required to complete this goal began to show me how many things I spend my time on that I really don't need to do. And it revealed many areas where my priorities are not quite what I want them to be.
Now, there are some down-sides to pushing through this reading so quickly.
- I found that toward the end, I was just ready to be done -- this probably helped me finish early. It is very difficult to give up so much of my free time every day to read. There were many days when I had other things I wanted to do, but my reading had to take first priority. You may have noticed that I have not been blogging much during the last three months.
- There were also many times when I ran into passages that really interested me, but at this speed, there really is no time to stop and ponder and meditate on what I was reading. I quickly learned to jot down references and questions for future investigation and meditation. I did, however, find myself thinking at random times of the day about things I had read, and that was enjoyable. But I really miss spending a little more time with a passage. I am looking forward to spending several weeks (or maybe even months) on a single book of the Bible.