Well folks, a lot has happened since I last ventured onto this website to write. The Lord has blessed me with another new job (as an administrator and basketball coach at Belton High School), new home, and a new baby girl on the way! With all these new changes and activities, it goes without saying my return to writing has nothing to do with boredom or having “too much time on my hands.”
So why now? Well, like a lot of Christians out there, I recently came to the realization that I’ve allowed the world to get in the way of my spiritual growth. I’ve allowed my “busyness” to be an excuse to not prioritize my faith and have let the other things become more of a priority in my life than what should be the most important–my walk with the Lord.
I owe some of my revelation to an outstanding writer that I’ve been following for the past couple of years–Matt Walsh. Matt is without doubt a controversial figure who many people have differing opinions about. He’s certainly not perfect (like all of us) but what I do appreciate about Matt is his willingness to search for and speak truth (no matter how unpopular) in a society that seems to be getting further and further away from it.
Matt’s recent article about lukewarm Christianity really struck a nerve with me. It was through this piece I came to the realization that I’ve become more and more of an indifferent Christian in an indifferent world than someone who is actively living out his faith and trying to make a difference within it. This revelation led me to the one logical place where I could address the issue…God’s Word.
I’ve read the Bible a lot throughout my life. I’ve done quiet times, Bible studies, and even read the Bible chronologically in a year as part of a small group assignment. This time, however, I went to my Bible with a different mindset. I wasn’t going to complete a small group study or to fulfill some personal obligation to be able to tell God that I “completed my Bible time” this morning. This time when I went to God’s word, I went for one reason: to learn and grow closer to Jesus.
Reading the Bible as a “spiritual homework assignment” has always been a struggle for me…
Okay God, I’m going to do my best to drag myself out of bed a 6 am to read an obligatory chapter or two of scripture then rush into my closet, get dressed, brush my teeth, grab a Granola bar for the road, and then jet out to work like the McCallisters jetting out to an airport…
Doing this for a week or two and then inevitably burning out without remembering hardly anything that I read or thought during these speed reading sessions has not been a recipe for success for me.
This past Wednesday, however, instead of opening my Bible with a preconceived number of chapters or amount of time I insisted on reading, I simply came wanting to read about the most fascinating, powerful, and controversial figure in the history of the world–Jesus Christ.
I didn’t have any outside motivations, no intent on reporting to God that I completed my Bible time, no obligatory feelings of “I must do this once a day to be a good Christian.” I did this simply to grow closer to Jesus.
As a result? For the first time in a long time I actually enjoyed reading the Bible. I was fascinated to open up to the Gospels and begin reading the most amazing story in the history of mankind. It was liberating to find that once I came to a passage that really stood out to me, I could go back and reread without having to look at the clock or look at how many more pages I had to read before I could deem myself finished. This time, I found myself actually being able to hear God, learn from his Word, and get something out of my so-called “quiet time.” It was amazing!
After reading in this new way, ample thoughts, ideas, and reflections came into my head that I wanted to grapple with more and more. Then it occurred to me: what better way to apply and share my reflections than to return to writing?
Thus, I’m back…
It’s not my intention to promise you I’ll write every week, just like I’m not going to tell God that I’m going to set my quiet time for a certain time or day of the week. This plan may work for some people but it simply doesn’t work for me.
I intend on reading God’s word only when God calls me to it, which certainly will be on a regular basis but not on a predetermined day, hour, or time period.
Similarly, I intend on sharing with you what I’ve learned also on a regular basis but there will no promises of it being “every Saturday” or “at least twice a month.”
I don’t want my time with God or my writing to become some sort of homework assignment. I want it to be what it’s meant to be: a time to spend learning and growing closer to Jesus.
I’m excited to be back and can’t wait to share with you what I learn and hope all of us–especially myself–are able to grow closer to God through the process. Thanks for supporting me on this ongoing journey!