Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Sipping" God's Word Through a Firehose

Since the end of 2011, I have been engaged in following a Bible-Reading Plan developed by Professor Grant Horner in 1983. Unlike other plans in which a person reads, say, a chapter from the Old Testament and one from the New, this system has one read ten chapters each day. The Bible is divided into ten "lists" of books, and each day one chapter from each list is read. So, one reads a chapter from the gospels, a chapter from the Pentateuch, a chapter from the Psalms, a chapter from Paul's epistles, etc.

What a challenge this is! Even a speedy reader like me has to devote a good half-hour or more to this task each day. I am not looking forward to the day I have to read Psalm 119 in addition to nine other chapters! However, it does allow one to make connections between ideas in various sections of the Good Book, and if a person reads from his regular Bible, he quickly comes to recognize where certain verses or passages are.

But it is sometimes almost overwhelming. As someone once said, it is like trying to drink the water of God's Word through a firehose! It can seem to be too much, especially on busy days when the stresses of life are pressing down on the mind to get to other matters that must get done!

It is good that Professor Horner recommends that a person should simply read the chapters, neither skimming them or trying to glean too much from them. The idea is just to read God's Word to familiarize oneself with its content, and our amazing minds, a wonderful gift of God, does the rest. Without our realizing it, our subconscious is working with the material we have gone over, and that knowledge is stored away for use later. As we read it again and again, it becomes more firmly fixed and more easily used.

Even though it is a struggle at times, it is well worth the effort! There is no one standing over us with a whip if we miss a day or only have time to read a few chapters. We can always catch up when we have the time to do so.

So come join me by the fire hydrant for a good soaking in the Word of God!