When the Christian life is a bit too much like a political debate…

I confess. If I can go to bed before 9 p.m. each night, I do. While a football game for my favorite team might keep me up beyond my “early to bed, early to rise” habits on the weekend (and only sometimes), debates for presidential candidates do not. It’s not that I don’t care about the upcoming presidential contest. It’s just that I know I can get the gist of the debate through news and editorial comments in the days that follow.

And so I sleep rather than watch the debates.

The next morning, I’ll listen to the radio as I ready for the day, getting snippets of audio from the debate and the newscaster’s opinion as to the most significant details of the candidates’ discussions. When I get home from work, my husband and I will view a couple of news shows — and see a number of video clips from the debate. I’ve got the gist, and I’m mostly satisfied.

But I’ve missed the context of those snippets, I’ve missed the opportunity to read body language, to hear the commentator’s tone as he or she asks a question, to gauge the audience responses or the facial expressions of those candidates watching a competitor answer. I haven’t judged the event for myself; I’m getting the debate through the filter of the media.

Debates and Bible reading

I was considering how my Bible reading is too often like my debate watching (or not watching, which is more accurate). Since getting the Bible app on my smartphone, I rarely open my real Bible. Each morning, I get little reminders to read the Word of God, and I’ve tried a number of reading plans. The most challenging was the plan for reading the entire New Testament in 30 days. It took me 90. While I highlighted some passages that struck me as important, I was too busy speed reading to digest the contents. I considered it a fail and so chose the opposite extreme for my next plan: the 14-day devotional I am currently reading. It contains about three inspirational paragraphs based on a single verse of Scripture plus a little prayer that incorporates the message for the day.

The devotional is like my approach to viewing the debates. I get a snippet of Scripture verse, completely out of context, and a mediator’s take on what it means.

I am missing out. I say that the presidential contest concerns me deeply, but I am doing little about it. I say that I love God with all my heart, but I am doing little to pursue His Word, His message to me. It’s not lack of time. Consider that I am making time to write a blog post daily for the month of November — and succeeding. Consider that I make it to the health club five days a week. Consider that I just joined a walking competition at work. Consider that I have been remaking a bedroom this week. It’s simply a matter of priorities.

Jeremiah 15:16 says, “Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts” (NASB).

I am not finding God’s words through intent reading of the Scripture and eating them — savoring the taste, chewing thoroughly, swallowing, feeling the energy from that food as I digest it and let it feed my entire body. No, I am grasping at the crumbs dropped by other followers of Christ and leaving unsatisfied. I am not allowing the words to be a joy and the delight of my heart.

It’s not that the entire Bible isn’t available to me for my eating pleasure. Certainly, the presidential debates are available in full for my viewing as I choose. It’s just that neither is the priority it should be.

Shame on me.

NaBloPoMo_1115_465x287_THEME

Posts for NaBloPoMo 2015:

  1. Why I love my hairstylist…
  2. To NaBloPoMo or not to NaBloPoMo? That is the question…
  3. No AC November…
  4. That dubious gift of an hour…
  5. I can’t wait to be discovered…
  6. Once an English teacher, always an English teacher…
  7. Of mice and men (or when you give a mouse a cookie)…
  8. When you replace people with possessions…
  9. Do what you know is right…
  10. When your eyes are bigger than your weekend…
  11. Attempting “The Glad Game”…
  12. When the Christian life is a bit too much like a political debate…

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