First of all, forgive my boasting, but it was only possible because of the Lord, so I’m trying to boast in the Lord. Secondly, I have to thank the makers of the YouVersion Bible app because there is an option in there to have the text read to you by a voice actor. So between that and my 45 min. (minimum) commute, I was able to knock out book after book of the Bible on the road where I normally would be wasting my time with some meaningless sports talk radio nonsense. And last but not least I have to thank the guys that accompanied me on this journey by doing their own Bible in a year reading plans (finish strong guys!).
So what did I get out of it besides Bible study bragging rights? Tons!
Allow me to use a poor analogy and compare it to traveling. My wife and I took a tour around Italy a few years back and it was probably my favorite vacation ever. We saw a lot of sights, sounds, and of course the food bouncing from one city to the next every day or so. We had such a great time that we are resolute to go back again. Except this time we’re going to focus on our favorite parts that we didn’t have enough time to explore in great enough detail before (Venice, Rome, and Capri).
Reading through the Bible in 11 months didn’t allow for a ton of meditation and/or deep Spiritual analysis. But it was wonderful to see things from start to finish and understand how everything fits together in God’s Kingdom. It isn’t that I needed to know the process for sacrificing animals in sin offerings. But it helps knowing how important it was to God to set up the redemption through blood, which sets up the perfect sacrifice that Christ made on the cross. Also seeing the continued falling away of the Israelite people and God’s repeated grace and patience really turns that false perception of the Old Testament God being just a God of wrath on its ear.
In some ways, listening to the Bible opened up the scripture to me in ways that I hadn’t anticipated. In particular the books of poetry read almost like a song or Shakespearean play (which isn’t for everyone, but I love that). I was able to picture some of the imagery better in my head with it being dictated to me. Besides, the voice actor was able to inflect emphasis where I might have missed it otherwise. Also, many of Paul’s long legal-sounding arguments were easier to piece together for me because it sounded like a professor giving a lecture (and I always enjoyed classes more than book-study).
So returning to my travel analogy, I am even more excited to go back and read some of the meatier books now that I understand their full context and place within the rest of the Bible.
Thanks again to everyone that offered me support and encouragement and prayers during this. It has been a huge blessing in my life and I encourage anyone else thinking through their New Years resolutions to consider finding a plan that meets your needs and prayerfully considering starting one. God bless.