Monday, December 05, 2005

My Walk

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 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?


LiteratureLover said...

I can relate to your struggle. I do not think you're shallow or stunted. I believe you love him. I struggle with finding the moments to actually sit down and read. Weirdly enough I can easily devour a different book. Perhaps it's the enormous size of the Bible that seems daunting. I should probably be as eager to read it as I am to read the Chronicles of Narnia. I have found that listening to the Bible on tape helps me. I am surrounded with God's word, get to know Him and I can be putting away the dishes while I do it.

But I would also say that God tells us to meditate on His word. I don't think He ever intended for us to rip through it quickly. Chewing on a verse or passage and thinking about it all day long, week long or month long is meditating. THAT's what He said to do. And I think that's how we come to love it by making it a part of us over time.

heartsjoy said...

Oh Girl!
I so hear what you are saying and have felt the very feelings. I have questioned and wondered as well. I LOVE worship and will drive as you do just to hear and finish my worshipping moment, blar music and sing, dance etc. (I'm sorry that thought might have alarmed dancing Ha!) However, he knows our pace and He is such grace! I think my highest challenge was when I was running with toddler kids and everything was an event! Now I find it somewhat easier but still a challenge.
I heard Beth Moore speak and say that one day she walked in to find her daughter at the table weeping over her bible. When Beth walked in her daughter looked up tears streaming and asked "Why don't I feel the way you do mother? Why can't I long and love the word as you do? I want what you have!!" Beth was compassionate and told her daughter she too had wanted more and asked God to give her that hunger and longing and LOVE of His word. She literally craves and must have it. I thought it was a neat story and have started asking for that as well in my life. I also love to dig when I want to know something. I LOVE the blue letter bible on the internet because you can quickly look up anything and even find the greek and hebrew word meanings...Fast! As a mom, that helps me! Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability!
Also, I loved what you said to me about 3 hours of blog

Kyle said...

"They enjoy it and I know it is something a good mom would do..."

Where do we get these ideas of what a 'good mom' or 'good dad' would do? Maybe what we mean is 'what I wish I could pull off' or 'what seems the perfect thing to do.' I dunno. Sounds like some kind of self-generated guilt to me.

Is it possible we just create and gather up too much guilt? That in the name of God, goodness and parenthood, in an effort to do something of meaning and significance in our lives and in the lives of our children we just end up getting too much guilt on the table?

If God tugs at my heart or brings a conviction to bear within me - then guilt is tool to bring me more fully into God's shape, direction and way for my life - to help more completely surrender to God. But otherwise, most of the guilt I feel as a dad or believer I think is just my own 'junk' masquerading as worthwhile.

I bake with my kids. Its fun sometimes. Its a headache sometimes. Its always a bigger mess. We make some memmories, we make a mess and sometimes I enjoy it.

I spend time with God. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I listen. Sometimes God lets me distract myself with computer games. Occassionally I bump into incredible moments.

Like you, I try my best to be faithful with the life I've been given. I take ideas from you and yours, from PastorSteve, from lots of others and start again tommorrow.

answer-man said...
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