It's the season of looking back. And forward. I don't make a lot of New Year's resolutions anymore. In my experience and observation, change doesn't come about because a new year came around on the calendar. Just look at the parking lot of the local YMCA or other gym in January, and then again at the end of February. Hey, I can say that, I've been among them!
But I did set some goals (or made some resolutions) for my reading and will continue to do that. I shouldn't need to set goals, after all, reading is something I enjoy and truly want to do. (Compare with going to the gym which perhaps I know I should do, but don't want to do.) But it still helps to have some goals or I tend to get lazy with magazines and websites and pretend that's real reading.
My big reading goal for 2012 was to read the Bible in its entirety. I did it! This is the 2nd time in my life I've managed it. It's hard. It's not a lot of reading each day in terms of minutes needed to complete it, but some of it is hard to understand and, I'll just say it, boring. Some of it even seems weird. I used The Kingdom Bible Reading Plan that I found at the Desiring God site. There are plenty of different plans around. I liked this one because it has daily readings from four different books of the Bible: Old Testament Law and Psalms, Old Testament Prophets, Old Testaments Writings (such as Job and Proverbs, among others), and New Testament. Let's face it, a chapter or two a day of Leviticus is going to be easier to manage than four or five. It's also got a built-in "catch-up" feature, with readings scheduled for the first 25 days of the month. Let's face it again, most people are going to get behind.
I did get behind, often. Many months found me scrambling to finish on the last day. I started one or two months already behind. That is one of the weaknesses of setting such a reading goal: There were plenty of chapters I read quickly, even mindlessly, just to get it done and the box checked off. That is not the way to read anything important!
So I'm not going to try this again in 2013. I still plan to read the Bible every day, or most days. I've started using YouVersion (thanks to Sandy for reminding me of it) which I had always thought was just for mobile devices. Imagine my surprise when I found that even desktop users can benefit from it. (Yes, I am not mobile yet. It has nothing to do with not wanting - not be be confused with needing - to be mobile, and I'm sure I will be soon.) I've already signed up for a couple of short Bible reading plans. I do like having stuff delivered to my inbox, even the Bible.
A better goal for me this year might be to spend x amount of time reading the Bible via YouVersion plans, personal Bible study, working with my kids on their Bible curriculum, and joining the study at my church. I wouldn't mind an online study with discussion either, if I could find one that fit. I'm thinking of keeping track (via a paper chart?) of my reading, so I can see just how much of the Bible I read in a year without a formal plan to do it. It would also be interesting to me to see what books I return to again and again, and which I avoid. I already know a couple.
I read books other than the Bible, of course. But it's time to stop typing and do a little reading. I'll update my general reading goal results and plans later or tomorrow.