An interesting lifehack that could be useful for folks who struggle with daily scripture readings.
Treat the Gym like Terry
Actor Terry Crews is a big, big guy. The #2 guy in the Old Spice commercials is a funny personality…but he’s also a bodybuilder and uses his physicality for humorous moments on the TV show Brooklyn 99.
I tell people this a lot – go to the gym, and just sit there, and read a magazine, and then go home. And do this every day.
Go to the gym, don’t even work out. Just GO. Because the habit of going to the gym is more important than the work out. Because it doesn’t matter what you do. You can have fun – but as long as you’re having fun, you continue to do it.
But what happens is you get a trainer, your whole body is sore, you can’t feel your legs, and you’re not coming back the next day – you might not come back for a year!
I worked my way up to 2 hours a day. I ENJOY my workouts. They are my peace, my joy – I get my whole head together! I value that time more than my shower! And it really gets me together. But it’s a habit…
So lay out your clothes, and go to the gym, and relax.
But sooner or later, you WILL work out.
Oftentimes, people will make the commitment to “read the Bible everyday” and begin to read the Bible by starting cover-to-cover with Genesis. I usually give them until Leviticus when they close it down and decide to spend their time elsewhere.
Other times, they start a 30, 60, or 90 day reading plan. Or buy a “Bible in a Year” Bible, or start a similar plan on their YouVersion Bible App. Then they fall behind and it’s hard to keep up without inner dedication.
This is the same problem as folks going to the gym: we set our expectations too high and then get discouraged. While there’s a certain percentage of people who CAN sit down and do the above reading plans, it’s not for everyone.
Treat Bible Study like Terry
Maybe we can take a cue from Terry and also do Bible Study like Terry goes to the Gym:
- Designate and Hold the time and place. If you are able, get away from home. If not, designate a nook, chair, window or some place. Also, keeping a regular time is most helpful–most folks do before breakfast or before bed, but lunch breaks and mid-afternoon-before-school-lets-out is fine too.
- Remove the distractions. This is key: put away the smartphone/tablet or at least put it in “do not disturb” mode. Yes, our phones are enjoyable, but they aren’t for being fully present in study–and I say this as a full-throated technophile.
- Make reflective time enjoyable. The key is getting in the frame of mind for reflection which leads to reflection for bible study. Watch a TV show that is deeper than an evening humor serial. Read a book or magazine to make the time better for you. Or even find a spot outside in nature that allows you to sit and observe and reflect for a time.
It seems silly to carve out 20-30 minutes each day to read or watch TV. But what matters is that you create a pattern and habit of taking time away for study and reflection once a day. By carving out from busy time or active time and creating reflective time, then you’re preparing your mind and body for spiritual reflection.
But sooner or later, you WILL study the Bible.