Distress Anecdote — Try This

Malaise, distress, despair – ever have periods like that?

That is where life finds me right now.  I have food, a home, health.  But after 40 years of employment, 3 ½ years of joblessness has me out of sorts, disconnected. Although I am grateful for the generosity of friends and family and temporary jobs here and there, having a regular livelihood is having a stake in community life. Somehow, I lost my stake…

My distress anecdote is Bible reading.  While written thousands of years ago, the Bible reveals life and the world as it is today.  In its pages is the human condition as well as a bit of nature, science and history.  Mostly, it’s God writing to people who believe it him – you and me.  Read to seek Him and you will get what you need for life and what you face.

It’s easy to see why there is so much depression and violence and escapism and preoccupation with death and interest in spirituality (including God).  Life is hard.  If you are not in a little groove of niceness that works for you, it’s pretty difficult to get life going in the right direction, even if what works isn’t very healthy.

But if God is real and if what He promises can be reasonably counted on, well that would be something worth living for even through the godly life is not an easy path.  But it’s a solid and true path in the midst of a very mushy world.

Here are two tips:

  1. Pick a plan and get to it. There are plenty of them around.  Look on the internet. (I use the Bible Reading System.)
  2. Set reading goals but don’t fret if you miss them, because you will. When you do, just pick back up where you left off.

I’ve been following a daily reading plan for nearly three years. I’ve read the Bible straight through a couple other times but this program holds my interest more. It’s a plan but sequenced in such a way that the chapters read on any given day have no apparent connection to each other.  Read in this manner, I get a strong sense of the continuity of God’s voice and message.  And I am continually amazed at how I see my very life situation reflected in ancient words.

Although my goal is to read 9 chapters a day, some days I only read 2 or 3 or 7 chapters, or none.  I usually take Sundays off from the plan because I devote Sunday to church and what’s going on there. The point is, make it your own.  Read each day then pick up where you left off next time.

The road of life is often bumpy and many sections are shrouded in darkness. Keep your Bible nearby and read it often – daily.  It will light your path.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
— Psalm 119: 105, KJV