This whole Year of Reading Biblically (YORB) was a bad idea.

It seemed like a good idea last October, but today I’m questioning what I was thinking when I concocted this scheme.

Did you know that all of this has something to do with a pretty girl? I was on a date with a woman last summer and in the midst of our conversation, we started talking about faith. I forget exactly what she was saying, but she mentioned something about Paul’s letters in the New Testament and it occurred to me that she knew her Bible much better than I did. I thought to myself, “I wish I knew my Bible that well. Then I could impress her or other pretty Christian girls.”

It’s the same reason teenage boys learn to play the guitar! That’s one of the reasons I decided to read my Bible this year. To impress females.

By extension, it’s why many of you are reading your Bible this year. Truly, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

But let me back up for a minute. I bet you’re asking, “Why is YORB all of a sudden a bad idea, Aaron?”

Because I’m behind. According to the reading plan, I should be wrapping up II Kings shortly, but instead I find myself two books behind, somewhere in II Samuel.

I missed a few days for one reason or another and haven’t caught up. And when I get behind, I feel bad, and the guilt can be paralyzing. I tell myself I’ll get caught up tomorrow, and then I don’t, which only repeats the cycle.

Funny what happens when we put things off until tomorrow. You start out with the best intentions, but then you put it off, and one day you wake up and you haven’t gone to visit your oma in a few months, you’re 30 kilos overweight, or you’re 40 pages behind in your Bible reading.

I have some catching up to do in the next few weeks, but I’m up for it. As I tell people when they ask me about how things are going, I may be behind, and that does make me feel bad, but when I get to reading my Bible, I thoroughly enjoy it. I like reading the stories and I like reading words like, “Be strong and courageous,” when I’m not feeling much strength or courage.

In the first article in this series, I wrote, “The goal here is progress and not perfection, so if you miss a day or two, that’s okay. Do what you can to get back on track and keep reading.” That’s a good reminder for me today, because the pursuit of perfection is maddening, and, for me, it can lead to paralyzing guilt.

When YORB started, I was haunted by visions of waking up on Dec. 31, 2014, and only being somewhere in the Book of Genesis, and then madly trying to read the entire Bible in one day.

I’ll get back on track. I’ll avoid that fate.

And along the way, who knows? I may learn enough to impress a pretty girl.

--Posted May 7, 2014

In the YORB series see also:

Part 1- A Year of Reading Biblically starts now (Dec. 16, 2013)

Part 2- Time for what’s important (Feb. 3, 2014) 

Part 3- It’s God’s story (March 17, 2014)

Part 4- Important reminders (April 14, 2014)

To join Aaron in reading through the Bible in 2014, see the scripture reference lists in Daily Guide for A Year of Living Biblically:

Part 1 (Dec. 16, 2013)

Part 2 (March 31, 2014)

Follow on Twitter- @aaronepp  #yorb14