Psalm 119:105 – Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (KJV)
"Let's go to that quilt show that I saw in the paper," I tell my best friend, also a quilter. And off we go to another display of creations by dedicated quilters. Most shows also have vendors — salespeople with a variety of tools, small or large, that make quilting easier. I've bought many over the years, from a small $2 item to a large mechanical sewing table that raises and lowers to ease my back when cutting and piecing fabric. Sometimes, I'm sucked in by the salesperson's pitch, and that item gets put in a drawer, never again to see the light of day.
A few years ago, I bought a walking foot — a special accessory that puts pressure on the top of the material to keep it from slipping or bunching up while stitching the top, backing, and batting together. I tried it once and couldn't make it work. Like those other tools, it ended up in a drawer, and I continued to struggle with the quilting process. A year later, I tried it again. It worked, and my quilting advanced to a new level of accomplishment. If I'd just taken a little more time the previous year, I would have saved myself a great deal of trouble and anxiety.
Using the right tool, or using it correctly and to its full potential, is also important in our spiritual lives. Fortunately, we have the Bible, but unfortunately, it is not always used to its full potential, or is left in a drawer, or is displayed as a decoration on the coffee table.
I heard a story recently about a couple who invited the pastor to dinner. Afterwards, they noticed that a fork was missing. Several weeks later, it was still lost, so they asked him about it. He replied, "I put it in your Bible." I don't know if it was a true story or an illustration that someone thought up, but it's obvious that the couple's Bible didn't get much use.
Some say, "Oh, I can't read the Bible, it's too hard, too boring, too (fill in the blank)." I suggest:
- Find a translation that makes sense. Ask friends or your pastor for recommendations.
- Eyes aging? Look for large or giant print versions, or read on an electronic device that allows you to enlarge the font size.
- Read it in a chronological version — one continuous story that flows from Genesis to Revelation.
- Look on that electronic device for a program or app that organizes daily readings to finish in a year and gives reminders when a day is missed.
- Listen to the Bible. Use an electronic device, CD/DVD, or a tape recorder, like my electronically challenged friend who plays the tape and follows along in her Bible.
- Use good study tools: Bible dictionaries, concordances, reliable websites.
Others may say, "I don't have time to read the Bible." But is there time for the newspaper, a novel, a television program, an electronic game? The Bible has about 800,000 words in 66 books. Most sources confirm that if we commit 15-30 minutes a day, we can finish the Bible in a year. It takes only 80 hours to listen to all the CDs or cassette tapes!
I'm currently in my third round of reading through the Bible. If I don't have that daily morning time, I feel like something's missing all day. Let's all make a commitment to read and study this wonderful tool that God has given us.
Prayer: Father, we know that we need to study and absorb Your Word and that we need to do that each day. Help us to find a time and a tool that works for our learning style and schedule. Give us the desire to make that a daily event. Guide our minds and thoughts as we study. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.