watch out for the sheep poo...
(Probably not the best place to camp out)
It has been years since I camped out in the mountains but I remember the old question, ‘Where should we pitch the tent?’ It wasn’t always easy to find a good spot, somewhere flat is pretty essential, not somewhere with soggy ground would be nice, not too many rocks underneath the tent would be good too, somewhere without too much sheep poo to navigate would be a bonus, somewhere convenient to go to the loo is fairly essential, a nearby source of water for a cup of tea is an absolute must… and the list could go on I’m sure. Since the criteria is so convoluted, particularly for those with an aversion to sheep poo and an addiction to tea, you really need to be on the lookout for somewhere to camp out all the time.
The same mentality is needed when walking through our Bibles too. There is the old struggle when reading Scripture, do we read for quantity or for quality? Do we read so that we can say that we have read the whole Bible in a year and have a good understanding of the sweep of the grand narrative, or do we read slowly and devotionally, taking a few verses at a time and really applying them to the heart.
David Mathis suggests a good approach in his book Habits of Grace:
Think of your Bible reading as a regular surveying of the biblical landscape to find a spot to settle down for a few moments to meditate, which is the high point and richest moment of Bible intake.
Read lots, even set yourself to read a few chapters every day, but be on the look out for that spot where you can settle and linger over the truth. Pause when something catches your eye and pray over it, ask God to reveal more of what He is saying to you. As Mathis says ‘Don’t let the push to check boxes keep you from lingering over a text’. It is good to cover many miles over the ranges of the Bible but it is essential that we take time to rest and allow it to sink into our hearts and lives.
There may or may not be good resting places in the mountains but there are always good places to stop in God’s Word, let’s not miss them.