When I put goal #21 (Read the Entire Bible) on my list almost 3 years ago I really thought it was one I’d knock out in year 1. I mean, I’m a reader for goodness sakes, let’s get this party started! But unfortunately, my reading interests tend to focus mostly on fiction, fantasy, and the like. I’ve never been a big history buff, and reading the Bible falls squarely into the history category. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the stories, in fact, some of them are amazing. It’s just that in addition to the great stories like Jonah, Esther and Noah, there are also pages upon pages of war, destruction and people turning their backs on God. The God that has saved them over, and over, and over again. So while I spent a few days cheering for Esther and Noah, I also found myself getting very frustrated with the constant battle for good vs evil and watching people turn away from God on every other page. What I thought would be an interesting read (reading it as a total book instead of studying individual pieces), turned out to be very frustrating and I had to take a break every now and then.
So, almost 3 years later – I’m happy to say that I can now check this one off of my list. And I’m even happier to say that I found some new favorite books that I’d always overlooked (James) and I’ve grown to love certain characters even more than I thought possible (Ruth, Esther, James, and Paul). Towards the end of this journey I heard about “The Story” – which is basically the Bible written in chronological form with narrations. So, after reading the actual Bible cover to cover, I decided to also tack “The Story” onto this goal and say that this one was complete after I’d read both. If you’ve ever started reading the Bible and stopped or if you just want to see what the Bible is all about I’d highly recommend “The Story”. It’s very helpful to read things chronologically, and the narrative additions really help tie things together and paint a bigger picture. It has 31 chapters, so it’s perfect for a one month read of a chapter each day, so it shouldn’t be a three year journey like my recent efforts!
This goal was by far one of the most time consuming and challenging goals for me, and I’m happy to say that I learned, I grew and I’d highly recommend it to others. Check and mark to goal #21!