The angry math teacher marched up, stopping just short of poking me in the chest with her pointing finger.
MY daughter was in 6th grade. I was a substitute teacher at her school that day. She may not have been a perfect kid (Jesus is the only contender in that category), but she was always a good kid, so I was surprised by the teacher’s acerbic tone. [Actually, “Acerbic” may have been this teacher’s middle name. Her attitude didn’t shock me, but having it directed toward my kid did.]
“She was READING in class.”
I fought the urge to slap my hands onto the sides of my face and scream a la “Home Alone.” Reading. In school. Horrors.
Knowing better, I nodded solemnly at the teacher and assured her I would take care of it. Later I found the errant child.
Me: I talked to your math teacher.
Her: *head drop*
Me: She said you were reading in class.
Her: Yes, ma’am.
Me: Did you finish your work?
Her: Yes, ma’am.
Me: Did you have anything else you could do? Homework?
Her: No, ma’am.
Me: Are you still getting an A in that class?
Her: Yes, ma’am.
Me: Get better at hiding your book.
Her: *My Mom’s the Coolest look* [I love that look. You don’t see that much when they’re in middle school.]
Mind you, this is a kid who, at six years old, was caught reading after bedtime by the tiny red thermostat light on the side of her waterbed. In order for the light to stay on, she had to keep turning up the heat. She had nearly baked herself by the time I caught her.
We find ways of doing what’s important to us. God and I had a long talk just today about four things I love or need to do that I’m not getting enough time for. My take-aways:
- time ain’t just gonna happen – it’s a pretty set deal
- if you want it bad enough, you’ll work it out
- thinking about it won’t make it happen
- wanting it won’t make it happen
- making it happen makes it happen
I then looked honestly at my schedule – a wacky thing that scared me a little when I got honest about it. But tucked in there were several things that I enjoy, but were not part of the Big Four. So they went on the chopping block.
The last of the four to be dealt with, I’m embarrassed to admit, was (gulp) Bible study. I have read my Bible through completely each of the last two years. This year, I decided to read the New Testament through twice and am zipping through that process. But what I lack, and what I desire, is to go deeper, to really STUDY the Word. My life does not include a group study like that right now, so I would be doing it on my own.
I know better than to try to concentrate that much at night after my long, crazy days when my head is numb, and I had already plugged numbers one, two, and three into that slot. I do my Bible reading in the morning, and the number on the clock when I roll out of bed is already too stinkin early. I can’t get LESS sleep. So what does that leave?
It took awhile. That still, small voice was its stillest and smallest, waiting for The Obstinate One to catch on.
My Bible reading is good. I love it. But (my fingers stuttered over the keys a bit there) it is just that: reading. Wouldn’t it be a more effective use of my time to use that morning slot for a deliberate, deep STUDY of the Word and not merely a READING of the Word?
Just like numbers one, two, and three when I had to eliminate something good for something better, I found myself slowly accepting this idea for my morning Bible reading. Ironically, I was afraid I would disappoint God if I wasn’t checking off my daily reading allotment every morning. I talked to Him about that. My take-aways:
- it’s not quantity, it’s quality
- I’m stuck in a routine – neither underlined word one to be used in association with the Bible
- rather than being lulled, however happily, by the familiar, I could be learning and growing
- He’ll meet me there
Mind you, I am not condemning Bible reading alone. Oh good heavens, no. It has been one of the biggest blessings of my life and He has shown me MUCH in the pages. He has met me THERE and changed my life. But now, echoing Emeril, it’s time to – BAM! – kick it up a notch.
This is gonna be epic. I can’t wait.
Now…which book to start with??? Sixty-six choices! Hm….