I’m reading through the whole Bible this year, on the chronological plan via YouVersion. I might have started a little later than you did, but this plan is a great way to read through the entirety of Scripture.
But can I be honest with you?
Sometimes when I read, my eyes gloss over, I finish reading, and I have no idea what I’ve read.
I know, I know…not very holy, right? Not what you’d expect of a pastor. A pastor should 100% internalize every passage…nay, every word. Pastors should read a passage, and instantly be able to explain it using alliteration starting with the letter K. A pastor should read a passage and pretty much have it memorized, able to recall it at just the right time in just the right situation.
I guess I’m not a normal pastor.
Just trying to be honest.
This problem often happens when I read a familiar passage. It feels like I’m not really reading it, my eyes scanning the page like I’d scan a newspaper article I’ve been forced to read. A couple of key words jump out, but the passage feels very little like God’s authoritative, life-giving Word. My scanning eyes wander across the page, but my mind will wanders to other, less important tasks.
The Jedi Mind Trick
So I have decided to trick my mind by introducing the unfamiliar. Instead of reading one of the Bible translations I have read for years (English Standard Version, New Living Translation, New International Version), I’ve started reading the Holman Christian Standard Bible for my daily reading. It’s different enough that I can’t just scan a passage and instantly know what it’s going to say, my scanning habits having to slow down because my mind doesn’t recognize the cadence of the familiar.
Will this work?
Maybe. It’s working so far.
As I read through the book of Genesis, a book I’ve read countless times, it feels fresh again, alive with a renewed sense of beauty. It’s refreshing, my heart and mind approaching each passage as if I’m reading it for the first time. It’s what I needed to do.
Maybe it’s time for you to consider switching translations for your daily reading. Maybe it’s time to trick your mind into doing what you want it to do. Thinking what you want it to think. Meditating on what you want it to meditate on.
Question: What’s your preferred translation?
*image credit: creation swap user Ron Loveday