One of my favorite teachers in college (who I think was my wife’s only teacher in college, she took so many of his classes) told a story that I have thought about many times.
It seems an older single missionary lady somehow revealed to her superiors that she had stopped reading the Bible.
Why?, they asked.
Well, she said, she’d already read it many times. She knew what happened in the end (and in the middle, and in the beginning). She didn’t see why she had to keep dragging her eyes across the pages.
I don’t remember what happened in the end. But that part of the story stuck with me because, I think, I was afraid that might happen—or was happening—to me.
But I want to praise the Lord that so far it has not happened. I can say to (regenerated) college students that if you pray for grace, stick with it, take sermon notes, make at least a half-hearted attempt to listen in Bible class, resolve to pray and read your Bible, repent for not doing it, try again, read good Christian books, get a little older, have a few more experiences in life and ministry, and find Christian friends who seem to be ahead of you spiritually—in short, if you do what I did—your Bible reading will get richer.
I am experiencing this right now as I work my way through the narrative portions of the Old Testament and write about them for a dozen or so eighth-graders I’ll never meet. (That’s right; my Bible textbook readership is exponentially larger than my blog readership.)
Ezekiel 16, for example, hit me with incredible power a few weeks ago when I read it for the first time in several years. Why? Because the hermeneutical spiral had spun around a few times in my head and heart since my last reading. Enmeshed as I was among the trees, a sudden view of the forest was breathtaking.
Keep going. By God’s grace, keep going.