My parents put me on the church bus to the local first Baptist Church when I was four. I loved going. We never developed the habit of going as a family, except for a short period when I was twelve. Then we lost my sister and my dad became disillusioned with church and dropped out. My mom didn't like going alone, so she stopeed going, too. However, I did not. I went to church alone until I got married. I was introduced to God at a very early age and instantly wanted to know Him. Going to church gave me new, little glimpses of Him, even it was wrapped up in a lot of garbage, too. My longing for Him was very pure and true. It was the beginning of a lifelong relationship.
I am not four anymore, and though I do know God more intimately now, that sweet, childlike longing to immerse myself in Him is gone. I've spent years beating myself up over the fact that my daily Bible reading has been sporadic at best. I cannot quote much Scripture by memory. I still get the order of the books of the Bible confused at times. I am not a Bible scholar. Honestly, I don't enjoy reading the Bible alone. I love reading it with others and discussing it, but I've always had to work at developing the habit of "quiet time". I have struggled with this issue...Does it make me less spiritual? Does it hurt God that I don't hunger for that? Do I love Him less?
I have a friend whose mother is very religious. When this friend was growing up, her mother forced her to read her Bible every day. Even if she had a friend over, she had to stop and read her Bible. My friend says it was good in that it helped her to make the habit, even though she has abandoned the habit as an adult. I think this is flat out wrong. I would rather my children develop a love for Scripture rather than make it a habit as mundane as brushing your teeth.
I pray daily. In fact, I can't keep myself from it. I spend so many moments of my day asking Him for wisdom and patience as well as thanking him for things I too often take for granted. I tell Him of my struggles, and sometimes I don't, just because I don't want to own up to it. And I am constantly having to apologize. I love to sing to Him, and find these are my favorite times...to worship in music. I will drive around the block to finish a song in the car. I put on music in the kitchen when I am alone and sing at the top of my lungs to Him while loading the dishwasher. I can lose myself in a good song. He is a constant presence in my life.
So, why would I not want to read His words to me? I am sure this would probably take our relationship to a new level, wouldn't it? Why is this hard for me? Am I shallow? Am I stunted? Do I really love Him?