Friday, December 28, 2012

Of Road Blocks and Honesty

Something beautiful that God made, that i took a picture of today.

With all this talk of stirring up my gifts and whatnot, i can hear the unspoken comments in my head, wondering why i haven't included any specific, daily, weekly, monthly Bible-reading or prayer goals.  Well, for one, it kind of goes without saying.  For two, i have road blocks.

I started my most recent read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year program, in about May 2009, give or take a year and some months.  So i guess i should call it the read-through-the-Bible-eventually plan.  I've read through the Bible several times in the course of my days, but this time, i wanted to specifically, not just read, but soak and understand.

Well, when i seek to soak and understand, sometimes i run into parts of the Bible that are sort of more difficult to soak up, per se.  I most recently got stuck in Jeremiah.  Jeremiah has its moments, it has some really inspirational isolated scriptures, but other parts are a little hard to make it through, specifically hard to soak in.

Then i started listening to the New Testament in my car.  And loving it.  Until a couple of weeks ago, when i finished the first 26 books.  And then i finished the first three chapters of that 27th book.  And then one day, i turned off the cd on my way to work, and admitted something to God that i have never admitted about any book of the Bible.  "God," i declared with a little too much certainty, before i thought about it, "i don't like Revelation."

Revelation just isn't the encouraging, admonishing, straight-forward, comfort that the rest of the New Testament is.  It's mysterious, wondrous, and frankly, pretty stinkin' scary.

So i turned it off.

I turned it back on a couple of times, for a few minutes, but my daily "reading" was very interrupted.  The last time i listened was sometime before Christmas.  Then, today, i found a reason to turn it on, for a better reason than just habit.

I think most people know what it's like to be separated from someone you love.  Whether it's a loved one or a relative who lives a long way away, or a loved one who has passed away to eternity, our hearts miss that familiarity of the person we love.  For most of my marriage, i have lived a long way away from my parents.  And during certain especially challenging times in my life, i have this certain possession that has been a special comfort to me.  It's a cassette tape recording that my parents sent me more than ten years ago.  On one side, it has my mom singing.  On the other side, is my dad preaching.  And i would turn it on (and i have kept a cassette playing walkman in my possession for just this purpose) just to hear their voices.  My mother's singing voice is lovely, and i have no doubt that my dad's sermon is insightful and inspiring (though i can't remember what it's about).  But the reason i turn it on is to hear the familiar voices of people who i know love me, unconditionally.

This morning, on my way to work, when i turned on and actually enjoyed listening to the book of Revelation, it was for that same reason.  I was missing the familiar voice of my Father.  Listening to His Word was comforting, even if i didn't understand what He was saying.

So i learned something new.  And i don't think God's mad at me for not liking Revelation.  It's not like He doesn't know my heart to begin with.  But when i give it up to Him, He can change it and teach it.

1 comment:

What do you think about that?