How I’m getting back on track with my reading plan

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Well, it happened: I got behind on my Bible reading plan.

It makes sense, of course. I mean, in the last few weeks, I’ve:

  • Went to Nashville to find an apartment;
  • Got ready to move;
  • Wrapped up everything in back in Canada;
  • Spent a couple days driving to get to Franklin;
  • Started setting up our apartment; and
  • Started trying to make sense of American health insurance.

By the way, on that last one: it is really, really confusing! (Moving on…)

How I got off track

Naturally, all of this has thrown my entire rhythm of life off, but where I’ve noticed it most has been with my reading—and especially with my Bible reading. I was tracking along really well all year on my plan—sure, I had a few days here and there where I needed to do a bit of catching up, but overall, I was solid.

And then I wasn’t. I’m actually kind of embarrassed by how far behind I’ve gotten. And it really comes down to one thing: I didn’t consistently make sure it was the number one priority in terms of reading each day. There’s no real excuse for it, I just didn’t do a good job.

How I’m getting back on track

So what am I going to do about it? I mean, admitting my failing is one thing, but if I don’t want it to continue, I have to change something. There are a few options for what to do, of course.

First, I could just skip what I’ve missed and keep pace with the plan. I’m not saying that’s a good idea, but I could do it. (But I won’t.)

Second, I could try and binge read—catch up on everything I’ve missed as quickly as possible, ignoring that it doesn’t provide much time for meditation on the text itself. (I won’t be doing that either.)

Third, I could just keep plugging away and say nuts to the dates. Doing that would have me wrapping up a yearly reading plan somewhere in the first few weeks of 2017. This is a fine and respectable one, of course, and one that no one should ever feel bad about acting on. (But I’m not doing this one.)

Instead, I’ll be adding a Psalm or chapter of Proverbs a day as needed until I’ve completed them all. This doesn’t fall into the cramming to complete option (I don’t think it does, anyway). One Psalm or one chapter of Proverbs will not significantly add to the burden of my reading plan (which averages 3-4 chapters a day). It’s actually quite manageable. Best of all, this option allows me the time I need to properly consider what I’m reading.

Because at the end of the day, that’s what a reading plan is for, right? It’s not to check a box off on a list—it’s to give you rails to run on as you seek to engage with God’s Word. And as long as my solution allows me to do that, then I think it’s worth doing, don’t you?

Posted by Aaron Armstrong

Aaron is the author of several books including the Big Truths Bible Storybook, Epic Devotions, Awaiting a Savior: The Gospel, the New Creation, and the End of Poverty, and Contend: Defending the Faith in a Fallen World. His next book, published by Lexham Press, will release in Spring 2023.