We are a few months into the True Story Project, and it seems like everyone I talk to is behind (including myself). The excitement has waned. The holidays have begun. And all of this combined with reading through some really tough Old Testament books have seemed to make everyone a few days or even weeks behind on our reading plan.
The True Story Project is our commitment as a church to read through the whole Bible as a whole church over the course of a whole year. This is a lofty goal, but a good one. I have loved reading through the story of God at such a rapid rate, which has enabled me to clearly see the continuation of all the stories and how they relate to one another and the big picture. I have had some really amazing conversations with the people next to me at church who are reading through the exact same passages.
I am currently behind but working quickly to catch up, not just because I am Type A, and it drives me nuts to be behind—I feel like I’m turning in schoolwork late. But also because I have loved reading through the Bible with our whole church so much that I want to quickly catch up and continue on with my reading so I’m on the same page as everyone else.
So, as we approach the busyness of the Christmas season, I wanted to share a few tips that have helped me catch up as I have fallen behind on my True Story Project reading.
LISTEN TO THE AUDIO BIBLE.
An audio Bible is great because you can listen to it while driving, folding laundry, cooking dinner, getting ready for your day. We all have times in our day when we are able to listen to something, even if we can’t sit and read. Pull out an audio Bible during these times.
When we were well into Deuteronomy, my husband told me that he was stuck in the middle of Genesis. I thought there was no way he was going to catch up and encouraged him to just start that day. But he was determined. And by listening to his audio Bible to and from work every day, he caught up in just a few weeks and is now right on schedule.
You can easily listen to your Bible by going to esvbible.com and clicking “listen” at the top of the passage. Another great resource is the Bible.is app, which features audio Bibles in dozens of languages, versions, and even has both dramatized and non-dramatized recordings.
TAKE A CATCH UP DAY.
As you are looking towards the Advent season and scheduling out all of your Christmas parties and activities, schedule in a catch up day or two. Take an hour or two by yourself with no distractions, and just read. I have done this a few times, and have really enjoyed the opportunity to see a book unfold from beginning to end, all at once. Plus, as the mom of four little kids, the quiet time is pretty great, too.
ADD AN EXTRA CHAPTER A DAY.
If you are fewer than ten chapters behind or are fine with catching up slowly but surely, continue with the reading plan but add an extra chapter or two a day. This will take longer to catch up, but you will get there.
If I have missed a day or two of reading during the week, I find that I can catch up the next week by adding a few chapters to my reading daily and then I don’t I have to try to read six or seven chapters in one day.
If all these ideas to catch up feel overwhelming, or if you have the thought even for a second that you might as well quit because you are so far behind, START TODAY! Open your Bible to today’s reading, and start with us.
While reading every chapter of the Bible is great, ultimately it is not the goal or purpose of the True Story Project. The goal is that we, as the people of God, can better learn His Story and have a deeper understanding of the Gospel we’ve received and follow. The goal is that we, as a church, develop a hunger and thirst for God’s word that will continue far beyond the year of the True Story Project.
PERSONAL CONFESSION TIME
My True Story Project confession is that I skipped over half of Judges. I was pretty far behind in my reading, and having gone through Judges as a church at the beginning of this year, I wasn’t fully sure that I was emotionally prepared to read through it again (it’s a really, really tough book!), so I opened my Bible to Ruth and started that day with the rest of the church.
So, as we’re already in the month of December, the busyness of the Christmas season is quickly overtaking my house and my life. But I am determined this Advent season to catch up on my current True Story Project readings and to not fall further behind.
I want to know more of the story behind the birth of baby Jesus. How did we get to his birth? What led up to this? I want to see how God had a plan for Jesus all along.
If you haven’t participated yet in the True Story Project, open your Bible and start with us today. While this season is busy, it is also one of the most exciting times to see the story of Jesus’ birth begin to unfold thousands of years before Mary was even born!