Tuesday, February 20, 2007

CWO - Reading quickly

Captain’s Log, Supplemental

"Those who read fast reap no more advantage than a bee would by only skimming over the surface of the flower, instead of waiting to penetrate into it, and extract its sweets."
~ Madame Jeanne Guyon ~

Update: I rewrote my post when I discovered Madame was talking specifically about Bible reading and not just reading in general. My point is essentially still the same.

I admit I’m torn about this quote.

I do enjoy meditating on the Bible. Certain passages deserve the time and mental energy to dwell, savor, contemplate, investigate, journal about. Those are some of my closest times with God.

But I also started the Bible in 90 Days challenge last year, and it was the most incredible experience I’ve had in a long time.

I had never read the entire Bible through before I did the Bible in 90 Days. I always lost interest in the normal books—the Pentateuch, usually around Leviticus somewhere.

For the Bible in 90 Days, the point is to just read. Keep reading. Don’t skim, necessarily, but don’t dwell, either. (I admit I broke this rule a lot if there was something completely out in left field—then I’d look it up in my Study Bible notes so I’d understand what was going on.)

I got through Leviticus in 2 days. Numbers in another 2 days. Deuteronomy in another 2 days. Suddenly I was in Joshua and I was past the books of the law.

I’d done it! I’d broken through my normal stopping point.

I learned more about God and the history of Israel than I’d ever learned before in years of Sunday School. God would make passages jump out at me in the midst of my reading—I’d highlight them, then go on. I’d end my reading time each day with a sigh of wonder at how much of His character He’d revealed to me.

I didn’t savor or meditate or dwell on passages the way Madame suggests, but God met me there each day and fulfilled me in ways I had never expected.

Don’t get me wrong—I do enjoy the times I savor my Bible passages, but I also learned the incredible experience of reading through the entire Bible. It was amazing in ways I can’t even describe.

So, while I know most people favor the mediate-and-savor method of digging into God’s Word, I have to plug the Bible in 90 Days challenge, too. I am incredibly richer in my knowledge of God through the experience.

Do you agree or disagree with Madame Jeanne? With me? Feel free to speak up—everyone knows that I always do!

And visit Laurel Wreath, the host of this week’s “In Other Words.”

Blog book giveaway:
To enter, go to the blog links below and post a comment there.
Two books for moms by Jenn Doucette
She’s Out of Control by Kristin Billerbeck


  1. I love taking the time to savor, look up word meanings, learn about the original language etc. But based on your blogging about the 90 day challenge, I'm doing that this year. (ok technically it is day 30 and I am on day 11 but I had two weeks of sick kids!) And I am getting a whole new perspective, reading Scripture just as a story and not as a deep study. The key for me is to have some time of study and memorization while I enjoy the story of His word. Thank you for blogging about 90 days!

  2. Sometimes, it takes a challenge like that to get through the "dry" parts, those that we would normally skim over or skip altogether! Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. Wow - 90-day-challenge. Never have heard of it. I might have to try it next year. This year I want to memorize as much as I can....I think it is cool that you got through the 'dry' parts of the Bible :)

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this week's IOW quote.

    Blessings on your day and always...

  4. I love reading this. I think God can teach us anyway, anytime, anyhow...and I too would have to read those books quickly also (or I would fall asleep ;)

    I am glad God really blessed you in the 90 day journery. That is what he loves...faithfulness.


  5. The 90 Day challenge sounds really interesitng--I agree, sometimes it takes something drastic to make us break through the impasse. Your post made me see that there are times when fast Bible-reading could serve a purpose. Of course, I'm guilty of sometimes reading it just out of duty and skimming through it, but even if those times, the Lord actually is able to grab my attention!

    This was my first visit to your blog, Camy, and I think it looks great! Asian Chick Lit? Sounds very cool to me! :)

  6. Ooops...that should've read "even in those times."

  7. I agree, in theory; in practice, not everything is worth savoring. Like men do not savor directions. My ADD-ness compels me to read quickly, then I go back and savor--if it's worth the calories, you know?

  8. I think I do agree with Madame, for reason explained in my post, but I want to commend you for speaking your mind and explaining the reasons for why the 90 day challenge worked for you. God works through each of differently and I guess this just proves that.


  9. I think I'm going to have to check this Bible in 90 days out! Great post! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Great post Camy! God can speak to us at any time and in any way - so why not in just reading without meditating? For me, if I just read, I don't generally tend to get anything out of it. I reqire some prayer beforehand (asking God to speak to me or reveal something in His Word), reading and meditating on it.

  11. I've never heard of the Bible in 90 days challenge before. But a while back, the Lord told me it was high time I read every word in the Bible, not just my favorite passages and books over and over again. Like you, in the past I had always gotten stuck in the first four or five books of the OT. I won't tell you how long it has been since I started, but I am now up to one of my very favorite OT scriptures, Jer. 29:11. That was one of the very first scriptures I ever memorized and it is one of the most useful and encouraging I turn to time and again. Thanks for this great post!