Why bother reading your Bible when you don’t feel like it?

The Bible is usually the last thing I want to face in the morning. I lie in bed in the early dawn, that netherworld between darkness and light, my phone in my hand, teetering between clicking on Facebook and clicking on my Bible app. By Anne Kennedy I grew up nurtured on the understanding that your morning “quiet time” in God’s Word is as important as a good breakfast. If you want to grow in body, mind, and strength, you have to face a bowl of oatmeal and your Bible before you do anything else. Now, at the age of 43, I don’t eat breakfast anymore because I’ve finally given myself permission not to bother. But the Bible—in the quiet before my children come shouting through my bedroom door—I shouldn’t give up. Facing and resisting the Bible But first I check Facebook, real quick, to see if I have any notifications. And then I turn on the Bible—because now it’s read to me, the voice of God joined to the voice of a man plodding, verse by verse, through the Bible—and try to stay awake. The trouble for me is that the Bible is overfamiliar. I’ve read through it dozens of times—sometimes slowly and painfully, sometimes briskly and thoughtlessly, more and more audio rather than visual—and so I know what’s coming. I know, as I trudge through Judges, that the Levite’s concubine is just over the horizon. I know, as I relish David’s triumph over Goliath, that, just around the corner, his own son is going to brutalize his own daughter. I know that I’m going to become thoroughly depressed in the middle of Jeremiah. And when I get to the cross? To the long prayer of Jesus in John’s Gospel? My finger hovers over the app while I wonder if I’m going to be able to face—all over again—his death. So sometimes, too often, in fact, I click away, or go back to sleep and avoid it with my whole body, soul, mind, and strength. For those who have never faced the Bible, I would expect the resistance to be just as great, though for  different reasons. The language—no matter what translation you try—is unfamiliar. The world of the Bible is ancient, far removed from the dizzying pace of modern life. The people have complicated and difficult names. There are different styles of writing. As you are flying along through…