Yesterday, I borrowed a truck a drove a rather large pallet of bottled water between two towns. I didn't have it tied down and I just drove slow and relied on it's weight to keep it in place. I usually like to drive fast. I want to make the best time possible to get to where I'm going. However, in this case, I wanted to be slow. I needed to pay attention to the water in the bed of the truck, the speed of the wind, the cars coming toward me, and even the bumps in the road. I needed to see and know as many details as possible.
I think we can be tempted to go too fast when reading the Bible as well. I always wanted to be able to say that I had read the entire Bible. I found a plan and read it in a year. I've read it through several times now, but I realized I was going too fast. I knew I needed to slow down and see more detail so I picked up a plan to read it in two years. It's still too fast. I have to read too quickly just to be able to check off a box. I'm missing detail God can use to pierce my heart and change my life.
I'm by no means saying that reading the Bible in a year or two is a bad thing. Any time in the Word is profitable. In fact, I do well to read at all some days with a toddler who sometimes wakes up earlier than I'd like her to. However, I desire to go slower. I desire to really dig into the words maybe only reading three or four verses at a time. I desire to meditate on and memorize some of the things I'm reading. If I slow down, less could truly be more.
My toddler is high energy. While she's awake she's constantly moving and into everything. It can be exhausting trying to keep up. If I'm honest, at times I can find myself wishing for bed time. I selfishly wish for me time instead of enjoying her at her current stage and this sweet season where she looks at me like I hung the moon. I have to continually remind myself to slow down and enjoy the now. I have to enjoy this stage even when I'm tired.
Slowing down leads to a deeper enjoyment. Likewise, when we slow down in God's Word and start doing the hard work of really digging into verses instead of just skimming by them, we gain so much more enjoyment as we discover the riches of what God has for us.
When I preach, I focus on the same passage for a whole week. I turn it over and over in my mind. It consumes my thoughts. I'm highlighting, underlining, circling, and trying to dig into the rich truths of the passage. I'm thinking about what it meant to the original audience and then how that relates to me here and now. I'm preaching it to myself before I ever preach it to anyone else. By the time I get to preach the passage, it is so burning inside of me that I can't wait to share it with others.
This is what slowing down does for us. It ignites a fire. It makes us excited about what we're learning. We get to the place where we can't help but share with other people what God is teaching us. We've just got to have the patience to see the details and enjoy where we are.
Reading the Bible in a year is great. Sometimes, our lives only allow us to read for comprehension. But let's challenge ourselves to slow down on occasion and make time for God to use His Word to transform not just our minds, but our hearts as well.