How Can I Make the Journey Easier? (Part 2)

Date January 27, 2011

Editor’s Note: We continue our series of blogs for those who are reading the Bible with us cover-to-cover this year. Interspersed with our thoughts on our daily reading, we want to provide some tips about reading the Bible in general. Today we want to continue our exploration of how we can make the journey through the Bible from cover-to-cover easier.

We are talking about the eight key factors can make our journey through the Bible much easier. Our journey will become easier when we consider:

Our Plan

Going to Hawaii became a huge task. When we contacted the first travel agent, she asked us, “Have you ever been?” When we told her this was our first trip, she told us, “Oh, you must see such and such and such [so much, too much!] while your are there!”

Our travel agent made a fatal mistake right away, one that is common with everyone who travels. They try to see too much and do too much! Had she asked us why we were going, she could have helped us by planning a better trip. Consequently, we did not book with her. Had we, our compelling why would not have occurred, and we would have had a miserable trip!

Have you considered a simple plan to accomplish your goals for this journey through the Bible that is ‘experience appropriate?’ This is a critical question, one that we have already helped you with by limiting the number of goals you have set. Now we will do that again by helping you achieve those goals.

Clarifying Question

  • In order to achieve each of these goals, what will I have to look for while I travel through the Bible? This is your “how.” These are your intermediate steps. They are the more manageable pieces or projects that will break down the somewhat daunting task of journeying through your Bible. For each of the two or three major goals you have written above, take a moment now and write one or two projects to accomplish each goal.

An Example:

You can use this format as an example.

“When I am finished journeying through the Bible, I want to:

(1)  Understand Who God Claims To Be.

Project One: Record what He says about Himself in a notebook or on my computer on a spreadsheet or word processing file as I read each day.

Project Two: Organize those records of what He says about Himself in a in a topical manner for later reference.

Easy-Pleasing Exercise

Now it’s your turn! Take a few minutes this week and record your projects.

“When I am finished journeying through the Bible, I want to:

(1)  ____________________________________________________.

Project One: _____________________________________________

Project Two: _____________________________________________

(2)  ____________________________________________________.

Project One: _____________________________________________

Project Two: _____________________________________________

(3)  ____________________________________________________.

Project One: _____________________________________________

Project Two: _____________________________________________

I can’t over emphasize the importance of this exercise! Without it, your journey will be both difficult and pointless! It is just like when you buy a new car and you begin to notice all the other cars like yours on the road. So too, when you are looking for something that is important to you, you are going to see it when you come upon it in the Bible!

This is the major reason most people get little of nothing out of their journey through the Bible! Since they are not LOOKING for anything, they are not FINDING anything!

Our Budget

Since Melodee and I are not “independently wealthy,” the trip to Hawaii had to take into account some of our financial restrictions. This would have to do with cost of airfare, hotels, rental cars, meals and sightseeing. Knowing our limitations before we went helped us adjust our plans and seek creative alternatives for “must see” items.

Although we will ask you to be sure to obtain certain things that will have some financial cost, the main item in Your Travel Guide to the Bible that must be budgeted is not money; it is TIME! We can say with absolute certainty that each and every one of us have only 24 hours in a day, and only seven days in a week. How we budget our time will make all the difference as we journey through the Bible!

Pareto and Your Journey

When we realize our time is limited, we are required to budget it accordingly. One of the reasons we have asked you to work through the Easy-Pleasing Exercise above is that we understand time well.  Have you heard of the Pareto principle (otherwise known as the 80/20 principle)? Perhaps you use it every day in your life and business, but haven’t considered using it in your travels through the Bible.

Let me explain the principle for those who are not yet familiar with it.

Pareto principle: 20 percent of your priorities will give you 80 percent of your production, if you spend your time, energy, money, and personnel on the top 20 percent of your priorities.

In other words, the top 20 percent of your priorities in your travels through your Bible will give you 80 percent of your satisfaction and enjoyment, if you will spend your time, energy, money, and personnel on the top 20 percent of your priorities.

So, when traveling through your Bible, you will need to focus upon your goals and your projects every day. Pour yourself into those goals and projects that you have written down above as most important – THEY WILL BRING YOU THE MOST MEANING AND FULFILLMENT!

Don’t get caught off on rabbit trails! If something looks interesting, but you don’t have time for it, write yourself a note under a category: “Interesting things to check out later!”

Daily Time On The Journey

Plan your life at New Year’s, your day at dawn.
–   Japanese proverb

Let’s look at one last area when it comes to budgeting our time. Earl Nightingale has been attributed with the statement that if one would spend one hour per day in consistent study upon a certain topic, after five years that person would be an expert.

Perhaps you don’t want to be an “expert,” on the Bible. Yet Nightingale’s statement explains a valuable issue to understanding as we travel through our Bible. If we will set aside time daily, whether 15, 30, 45 minutes or even that hour, we will be far ahead in achieving our goals, and ultimately our compelling why. In lesson 18 we will provide some plans as to reading the Bible and this issue of budgeting our time to accomplish it. Simply making the commitment to a daily exploration, away from the busy-ness of life, will yield high benefits in your travels through the Bible.

It is our hope that this background information helps a bit as you read on in the Bible. We will continue this series with our next installment: “How Can I Make the Journey Easier? (Part 3)” on Friday.

For daily insights into the passage we are reading together each day, you can follow Dr. Smith on Twitter and on Facebook.

You can obtain more help from the FREE Bible reading schedule on our resource page. In His Image is a daily devotional that also follows our reading schedule and expresses the Biblical truth: “God Created You to Love You.” You can find this resource on the side bar of our website.

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