I wish my life didn’t involve so much ‘chasing after the wind’. You remember King Solomon’s phrase from Ecclesiastes. Chasing, pushing, shoving, fighting for…things that are just ‘wind’, meaning so little. Like some years in my ministry. Would have to admit that I began poorly. Then, I had 20 very satisfying years as a Master Financial Planner with a large American investment firm. Praise God I ended pastoral ministry with much less chasing you-know-what. But looking back, way back, I just shake my head at so much time and opportunity squandered and frittered away. ‘Chasing after the wind’–as Solomon claimed in Ecclesiastes chapters 1 & 2. Hope you’ve read those two chapters–again. Doesn’t take a lot of time. Maybe 10 minutes. In that space of time, we could channel-surf the mass nothingness of cable TV or Hulu, HuHu or whatever they’re called! For me, what’s with this new italic I’m seeing? It’s shown up from who-knows-where? I must have pressed a wrong key on my computer. Must have…but which one? Who cares as I don’t know how to fix it anyway. So, where’s my wife? This is ruined! Help! Sue! To my rescue once again! Ah, she’s done it! Back to normal. Thank you, Lord… and Sue! Doesn’t take a lot of ‘wind’ to waste 10 minutes…at least not in my life. See what I mean? Am I the only one? But I do have a secret I’d like to share with you. Many years ago, I made a commitment to read the Bible from cover to cover in the new year. A Roman Catholic friend of mine, a priest, also admitted that he had never done so in his many years of ministry. But a Lutheran pastor friend of ours said that he had read the Bible through a few times. Well, he wasn’t going to get one up on us! No way! Not a Lutheran, anyway!! So, I found a Bible-in-a-Year calendar and started reading. It had 2 Old Testament and 1 New Testament readings every day. If followed, I’d read from Genesis to Revelation by December 31st! Must confess that I had made this same commitment when I was a student at Bible college many, many years before. Think I kept that resolution through possibly part of one week! That’s terrible to admit. But truth be told. ‘Truth or Consequences’– I can clearly see the consequences of not allowing God’s truth to penetrate this thick, Irish-German skull (and soul) of mine. Not good. Not at all. Now, after I had made this new commitment to read the Bible every day, I knew that there would be some days when that would not be possible but also that God was merciful and understanding. Nevertheless, I really tried to stick to that schedule of daily reading. Every day with Him in His Word, the Bible. Day by day, week by week, month by month, I was navigating through the entire Bible. I didn’t notice anything different for awhile, but change was coming into my life. And I don’t mean nickels, dimes and quarters either! You see, I was moving from Ecclesiastes 1:6: ‘The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course’–to Ecclesiastes 2:26: ‘To the man who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness…’ From wind that blows here, there and who-knows-where; to God’s wisdom that anchors me firmly in Him. Guess what? I accomplished my goal–read the entire Bible that year! Almost 30 years later, I’m still at it. Every year–every chapter, every verse. Won’t stop. Too much to lose. Won’t stop. Too much to gain…by staying with Him in His Word. Up for a challenge? For this new year, how about reading your Bible from cover to cover? Or listening to it on CD? Or on one your digital devices(whatever that may be!)? But don’t say I’ll do it… do it! A good place to find a number of daily Bible reading schedules would be on the internet, at of all places, ‘Daily Bible Reading Schedules’! Even I found that! Have fun looking. Find one that interests you. Then go for it. Do it! Begin today. And get ready to notice that life is changing…for you…with Him!
Prayer: Lord, we so want to get close to you. We need more of you and less of us in this crazy world. Help us to open our Bibles every day as we open our hearts to you. We need your help to do just that. In Jesus’ name and for His sake. Amen.