Do you play an instrument? Then you know how your eyes will read the notes and/or chords while your hands are playing the music. Your eyes don’t have to translate what they read for your hands. Your hands will automatically play the notes and chords — without thinking.
If you are not a musician, perhaps you are doing some sort of sport? My husband used to play soccer. While on the field he wouldn’t think about how to take the ball or how to kick it; playing soccer just came natural to him — without thinking.
This past week, while chatting at the dinner table, my friend shared with us how she used to type a text without even knowing its content. She typed while listening to the audio recording of the words.
Once we have mastered a skill it becomes second nature to us. We do it automatically. We can look outside the window while typing on our keyboard. We can drive a car, shift gears, turn on the signal, all while listening to music along the way. Once learned, we will walk without having to think that we need to put one foot infront of the other.
When forming habits — good ones as well as bad ones — we are in danger that they become so much second nature that we are no longer thinking while we are doing them. We need to be on guard that this doesn’t happen to our daily devotions. Are we doing them so we can tick off our reading plan list? Or are we doing them to hear what our Father has to tell us?
Reading God’s Word shouldn’t be just the thing to do but should be a time well spend with the LORD. The Bible says to love the LORD our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind (Luke 10:27). If we truly love a person we want to spend time with that person, don’t we? The quantity does not count as much as the quality because we can spend a lot of time with people without thinking, without truly being mindful of them.
Don’t put yourself under pressure thinking you have to spend a certain amount of time reading your Bible every day; but when you do give it your full attention. If you wander off with your thoughts while reading go back to the verse that you last remember and read the passage again. Another thing which will help you to stay focused is to make notes: Keep a Bible Journal.
I will talk more about keeping a Bible journal in one of my next posts. So, stay tuned.