First Things First
One of my first and foremost goals of 2014 is a daily challenge: put God first. When I first open my eyes at the start of the day, and before I close them at night to sleep, I want my focus to be on Him. This is truly a challenge. It is so easy to become distracted with the cares of the day and the worries of the future. Christ anticipated this weakness in our humanity when He said:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
Over and over again God tells us that He’s got it all under control — He will take on our burdens (He already has!) and our trust in Him will not be disappointed. And yet… I still fall grievously short of utter trust in the only One who can truly make good on this promise. But I believe this is what Christian living is about: daily we are called to “seek first the kingdom of God” and He has promised to give us the strength to do so.
One of the ways in which I’ve committed to seeking God daily is by renewing my daily Bible reading with a chronological plan that follows the historical sequence of the books of the Bible. This is a really neat way to get a feel for the timeline of God’s story for our salvation and it really helps put the sequence of events into context. Thinking of the Bible as a “novel” of sorts is a concept promoted by two of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien. They often spoke of Scripture as the one “true myth”:
“For this is the marriage of heaven and earth: Perfect Myth and Perfect Fact: claiming not only our love and our obedience, but also our wonder and delight . . .”
Being the artist I am, this concept rings especially true for me. There is no need to suspend disbelief while reading the Bible, as though it were a fictional story or fairytale, but how wonderful to read it with the same sense of awe and pleasure that accompanies the most beautiful and wondrous of mythologies. At this point in my reading, I have read the beginning portion of Genesis, jumped to Job, and am now back to the life of Abram/Abraham in Genesis. As I begin each day with these readings (while nursing DS), I am gratified to know that I am connecting not only to my own personal and human history in these beautiful “myths” but also to the ever-present and personal relationship with my Lord who intended these writings to be read by generation upon generation that this true mythology might be the uttermost source of Truth and Life for His people.