Well, ok…I like to think I’m a runner. I’ve completed four marathons and a dozen or so half marathons. But- my pace is slow, I’ve never won a race and my running form looks painful to the casual observer.
But still…I’m a runner.
I like the peace that comes from a clear head while running. I love being outdoors and taking in nature. I love the quietness of the minutes before daybreak. I just love running.
There are many parallels between running and reading the Bible.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- You don’t have to be very good at it to benefit from it. Running is simple. You just put one foot out in front of the other. Walking becomes jogging- which becomes running. After several months of training, the act of running becomes effortless. The same is true with your Bible. It’s God’s inspired word. You don’t need training to get started. You just need to commit to reading, studying and praying over it. A little bit of study leads you to want more.
- You don’t need a special place to do it. In the past seven days alone, I’ve completed a three-mile run in a hotel parking lot, a four miler on a mountain trail and another run on an indoor treadmill. Running is portable…you can do it anywhere. It’s the same with Bible study. You can study in the quiet of the morning or late at night. You can listen to the Bible in your car between meetings. You can download it on your phone and read it on your lunch hour. It’s completely portable.
- The equipment is minimal. In running, you just need a good pair of shoes to get started. It’s the same with Bible study. You don’t need anything but God’s word and a good notebook for observations and questions. Just get going.
- It’s always better when you are training for something. It’s true in running…if I have a race or an outdoor event to train for- I’m more motivated. I have a goal. The same holds true with Bible study. If I’m teaching a class or participating in a study where I’m expected to be prepared- I work harder. It’s good to have goals for your personal Bible study.
- You can enjoy it alone or with a group. I love to run alone to clear my head, think about solutions to problems or to get in an uninterrupted prayer. I also enjoy running with my family. I’m blessed that we all get to race together- and enjoy training together. When studying God’s word, it’s good to be alone sometimes to go at your own pace or study what’s truly interesting to you. It’s also nice to have a group to discuss topics from the Bible…and to hold you accountable for study.
Running legend Steve Prefontaine once said, “a race is a work of art that people can look at and be affected in as many ways as they’re capable of understanding.”
It’s the same as studying the Bible. It’s a work of art. If you commit to it, God’s word will pour into you and make you a new creature…transformed. It will affect and change every aspect of your life.
My prayer this week is to be even more diligent in my study of God’s word.
Let me know how I may pray for you.