I haven't been in the Word in a while and its starting to show. Well, not show outwardly, at least I don't think so, but more inwardly. That pilot light seems to be a bit dimmer then usual. Thoughts have moved to other directions than they should. I've been looking at the world differently then I was just a few short weeks ago when I was in the Word almost daily. I miss it. I miss the Word. As I write this I can look down and see my "playbook," as I like to call it (I name it thus after giving Calhoon the ball a few years back... inside reference to those that understand it). It is laying on the floor by my bed and is encased in a leather cover that has handles. Believe it or not that cover does pose a bit of a problem-- its difficult to read my playbook-- I know, I can hear you all "take the thing out of the cover!" I am going to.
One of the greatest blessings I ever received was being a lifeguard for two, or was it three summers, at camp. It was a blessing for many reasons, but I think the biggest was that hour in the middle of the day that was affectionately called F.O.B. It all depended on who you asked, but FOB could mean anything from Flat on Bunk, to Fart of Bunk (it all depended if the camper you asked was 10 or 16-- or if the counselor was Lee Knouse). Basically FOB was a time for (in theory) counselors and their campers to get out of the sun and get some shut eye-- a nap time, if you will. I discovered though, that I was often very groggy and not really effective for the rest of the day if I actually took that nap-- as strange as that might sound and I didn't particularly like going into the staff hut because most of the staff in there was trying to sleep and I didn't want to bother them. So that was when I discovered the benefits of the hour all-by-my-lonesome bible study.
During the day camp was a certifiable madhouse-- lots of activity, but that hour of silence was almost as unnerving as it was peaceful. I had two spots I liked to go. The first was an old, somewhat lopsided, round, concrete table under some trees. I had to sit on the "downhill" side of the table or else things got difficult. The other place was what was called the Trading Post. I would sit there with my Bible and quietly "read, mark, and inwardly digest" (as the good old Lutheran Liturgy said)and study.
I would read for a while, drink water from my water jug and sometimes close my eyes and just listen. Generally, there wasn't much noise except for the sound of pumping equipment and the refridgeration elements in the soda machines. It was during these silent times that I started to really get into the Word. To work with it. To get out of the kiddy pool and into the deep end. I added the Book of Concord eventually. That really became a great way of reading the Bible. I'd read the BOC and when I got to a quoted verse I'd go to the bible, find the verse and read it along with the verses around it. God really started to work. I noticed it and I think those around me started to notice, too.
Sadly, now, I don't have an FOB time that I can away to a small table and read. So, I make do how I can: a few minutes here, a half hour there. Somtimes, though, I still get distracted and forego the personal bible study. I find myself falling into the old trap of "well, I go to church on Sundays. That should be enough." I know its not. I go to church and I find myself wanting more, I'm not always sure what, though.
So, I'll reach down and I'll take that leather cover off. I'll get a pen and read for a while. It has been my experience that when I have the need to read I usually find something that I didn't know I needed. Does that make sense?