What I’ve Learned

I typically don’t write about God. I try to keep my topics light and free from controversy. I’ll write about other things instead, like morals, the law and what is right. But about the G-word, I’m never quite sure if I say too little or if I say too much. And I find it risky because I don’t want to alienate readers who read my blog for entertainment purposes only.

The Holy Bible
The Holy Bible

However, there has been a development in my life. Last year this time, I had promised myself that I would read the Holy Bible from cover to cover. To keep me on track, I went ahead and entered a chronological reading plan into my phone that would remind me daily of my goal. I say chronological because there are various reading plans out there that allow a person to start reading the word in various ways. I chose chronological because I’ve always wanted to gain a historical perspective to the writings than simply reading it for literature.

With that in mind, I’m happy to say that as of December 31, last year, I completed my goal of reading the Holy Bible from cover to cover.

What can I say about the whole thing? I can only describe it as an experience.

I learned there is a God.
I learned God would not give me a test he doesn’t think I can handle.
I learned that no matter how many times I sin, God would forgive me.

I learned about faith.
I learned about hope.
I learned about love.

I learned that I mean something to God and he will do anything to save me from the penalty of my sins.
I learned that as smart as I think I am, God is smarter.

I learned to be patient.
I learned to be kind.
I learned to love.

I learned what real peace is all about.
I learned to sleep better at night.

I learned a lot more, but those are the big ones. Apart from the experience of historical reading, I gained a huge understanding regarding human nature. For instance, I found a whole book called Proverbs chalk full of golden nuggets of wisdom dedicated to dealing with human nature. One of my favorite sayings I picked up from the book is “Go to the ant, you sluggard.” It means those who are lazy should have a look at what the ant does. The ant harvests in the fall to live through the winter. It also means, like an ant, I should always stay busy. Hard to get into trouble when I’m busy.

Yet, of all the things I’ve learned, I think loving God and loving others is the most important. I don’t want to sound preachy, but to me it made enough an impact to promote a change in how I act—a change noticeable in my writings and to others.

At least, I hope it’s noticeable.

Get the Ranger Martin trilogy now!

Have you ever wanted to read something cover to cover but never had the opportunity to do so? If so, what?

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23 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned

  1. I always read Quran Shareef , yes from cover to cover . As I read with translations , I complete my readings slowly , I connect with the message. I feel happy , because it is message from God. It tell many things , some I understand others are totally beyond me. Yet, I feel good..you know like this is what God wrote for me…and many others who want to believe.
    I believe that zabur, injeel(bible), tourait are the other three books given to human as message from God.

  2. Congrats Jack, what a way to end off 2015 and start off 2016! 🙂 I’ve read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation once but really need to do it again, there’s so much that’s been lost with my post-it note memory. Thanks for sharing your takeaways, great post!

  3. Jack.

    I, too, have read the bible cover to cover and parts of it a number of times. I, too, sleep well, virtually every night ( I occasionally have an joint or two complaining about the 5-mile walk I took on the previous day).

    My reading of the bible was about 60 years ago, and as a result I became an atheist after thinking it over for a few months.

    Been enjoying life ever since, and at 81 years of age (and counting) I intend to enjoy the rest of my life here in Southern California as much as possible.

    Not trying to start a word salad fight – – simply expressing an alternate world view. I have no problem with religious folk (unless they happen to be Islamists). I realize the majority seem to take great comfort from their religion, and I have no quarrel with comfort. I simply get my comfort elsewhere.

  4. I was brought up Catholic and started to read the Bible cover to cover when I was an early teenager. I got as far as Exodus.

    A couple of years ago I started reading the Hindu Upanishads and almost completed them. However, the scale of the task is not quite as long as reading the Old and New Testament. Perhaps if I attempted the Mahabharata that might be more comparable.

  5. I found that reading it cover to cover gave me a much better sense of context. Later passages that referred to earlier passages made more sense. I also am impressed by what a fantastic overall story it tells. This was a really good post.

    • That is so true, Robert. I found when reading the New Testament, the Old Testament made more sense, as there were so many references to the prophets, which lends credibility to the writing!

  6. I’ve done various studies over the years, but never managed to do a cover to cover. That’s really impressive to me.

    What you said about avoiding controversy and writing about controversy is a difficult thing. I’ve always used the philosophy “If it’s important don’t shy away from it”. So if it’s something that speaks to me, a healthy experience, or something I am passionate about I try not to shy away from it no matter what others might think. I realize that’s a difficult thing to do because the fear of alienating others belongs to people who really care and love people, but I also believe it’s important to be true to ourselves. I’ve written and rewritten numerous times, trying to find that balance between expressing myself without being too pushy or suggestive. It’s difficult.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Thanks! I have a long timeline before my posts hit my site. In some cases, months. So I take my time rewriting phrases in order for them to have the most impact. It is a delicate balance, but worth it!

  7. I have to read The Bible just in the manner you read. I also try to avoid writing about God or any controversial topics, but reading it and sharing about it is no harm. Glad you shared your experience, Jack 🙂

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