I once read a story in The Employment Counselor where a young Christian was preparing for a trip when his traveling companion came into the room to see how he was doing.
“Are you done packing?” his friend asked.
“Almost,” said the young man. “The only things I have left to pack are a guidebook, a lamp, a mirror, a microscope, a volume of fine poetry, a couple of biographies, a package of old letters, a book of songs, a sword, a hammer, and a set of books I’ve been reading.” Where are you going to fit all that stuff?” the friend asked?”
“Right here,” the young man replied. He reached for his Bible and put it in the corner of his suitcase.
– John Maxwell
For our 20th wedding anniversary, my wife Melodee and I made plans to go to Hawaii! Since we had never been before, we decided that we would need to get some help. We began to ask friends for their advice and, as a result, booked our first trip to Hawaii with a travel agent that had been recommended highly by close friends.
Then the tough part really began. We were desirous of having a wonderful time and, since it was our 20th anniversary, a romantic one as well. But how would we know what we should do, schedule and plan for? After all, we had never been and were inexperienced with Hawaii! You may have guessed it; we bought a guidebook on Hawaii!
Perhaps the reason you have decided to join in the journey and read the Bible from cover-to-cover this year with my help is because you have picked up a Bible, but you have no experience with it! Relax then! You have done the right thing. I am going to help you break down the Bible into ‘bite-size’ chunks to make it easier to understand.
Let’s Begin By Changing Our Perspective
In order to accomplish that, the first thing we need to do is change our perspective about how we look at the Bible. It is true that the Bible is a spiritual book. However, when most people think in terms of spiritual books, they grow weary or ever a bit frightened! After all, the thought of reading a “Holy Book” can be quite intimidating. Much like the intimidation Melodee and I experienced as we began to think about visiting the strange and unfamiliar land of Hawaii!
In order to change our perspective effectively, we need to think of reading through the Bible as more of a journey, and less as a book. After all, the Bible covers the journeys of the people of God over thousands of years! Why not think in terms of a journey when reading it. There are SEVERAL key points that will help us change our perspective on the Bible. Let’s look at the first one today:
Why Are We Going?
In every trip or journey, the most important question is, “Why do we want to go?” or “Why is this trip important?” When we ask and answer that question thoroughly, we have the basis for who, what, where, when, and how?
Why did we pick up the Bible in the first place? What spurred us to seek out its advice and wisdom? There are many reasons why people are attracted to read the Bible. Perhaps you will find yours among these: Did we pick it up because …
- You feel an emptiness inside, and realize it may be spiritual in nature?
- You are in the midst of a crisis and hope that you can find guidance for your situation?
- You have young children and know that if you are to provide them a good home and moral foundation, the Bible probably has the answers?
- You have a deep desire to get to know God and feel that the Bible is the logical place to start?
All of these are good reasons, and yours may be in the list, and it may not be. One thing is sure though: If you know why you picked up the Bible, then your journey is already much easier!
When Melodee and I began our trip to Hawaii, we quickly wrote out our why we wanted to go to Hawaii in a single sentence. “We want to go to Hawaii to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in a romantic setting, where we can leisurely enjoy both each other and our surrounding without a schedule.”
Take a moment today, and figure out the reason why you have picked up the Bible and write it in a single sentence in the front cover of your Bible or on a sheet of paper you can keep there.
Next time we will try to answer the question, “Who will we take on this journey?”
 Maxwell, John. Partners In Prayer. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1996. 38.