Saturday, April 12, 2014
While the Word of God can rightly be characterized as living and fresh, our reading of it can often become stale and boring. There are many reasons that can be offered. First, so much of the time our time with the Word is in those leftover moments of the day when all our energy has been depleted on other pursuits. Or, it may be that we tend to graze in the places that are so worn that we hardly have to look at the page to know where the text is taking us. And, of course, our experience with the Word may be stale and boring because of our expectations.
What do we expect as we open the Word of God? If it is simply fulfilling some spiritual duty, then we should be content with the mere satisfaction of being able to say, "I read the Bible today." But, there is something more. This is no surprising news to us. We long for something more out of our encounters with the Word of God. We really do want to experience it as a living, powerful Word that speaks to our hearts in fresh ways. Such may not be our experience, but it is certainly something which speaks of the deep longing of our inner being. We do not want it to just be the reading of words. We want it to be a living encounter with the God who inspired the writing we hold in our hands.
If the way we are reading the Scripture is not taking us to such a place, maybe being open to different ways of encountering the Word. One thing we might do is to read and have some dialogue with it. For example, we could ask God, "Lord, why is this verse written as it is? Why did You say it like You did? Lord, what is it that You would say to me through this Word?" Reading with an inquiring spirit is always going to be a good thing. But, remember. If we decide to ask God to help us as we read, or if we ask Him for clarity about a particular section, then we should give Him the courtesy of listening while He speaks.