She came out of the room with a kind of smile I hadn’t seen in a while. Ever careful not to toot her own horn, with humble enthusiasm she said, “I just finished reading the Bible in a year!” It was December 27th, 2019, and she had read all 1,189 chapters – with 4 days to spare.
A little celebration followed.
Some of the backstory will help you appreciate the significance of that sweet moment. It was at least the 10th year in a row that she had attempted to read from Genesis through Revelation, but every year it was the same outcome…she ran out of steam somewhere around Leviticus. By February, her resolution was buried under a 60-hour work week, an impossible family schedule, and laundry.
But this year was different. She found a Bible-reading plan that suited her and she never looked back. She got way behind in July but then made it up a little at a time. There were those nights when she fell asleep while reading, but it was okay, because there were also nights when she was energized to read a double portion.
So, what happened? How did she manage to complete a goal that had eluded her for so long? Two things stand out:
1. It was something she valued. Even though the size and mystery of the Bible intimidates her a little, she deeply values it and believes it to be a treasure-trove of resources that help make sense of life (See II Timothy 3:16-17). This is what motivated her to keep diving in and working on her goal, even when it seemed like she was in over her head.
2. She never gave up. In spite of repeated failure, she kept trying. Or, maybe it wasn’t failure, but just preliminary groundwork? Regardless, she did not listen to the cynical voices that said she shouldn’t bother trying anymore. With righteous resolve, she kept at it. Like the proverb says,
The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.
You may be wondering how I know so much about this gal? Well, she’s my wife. Her name is Tawnia and I’m very, very proud of her. I hope her example of perseverance might inspire you with your own New Year’s resolutions.
Whatever you have on your heart to do in 2020, even if you’ve tried before and failed, with God’s help, may this be your year.
Its a new year with God. Run with it.