Because it's such a laborious task, and the truck had been in the shop for about three weeks, that sack became part of the landscape. When Keith finally loaded up the cans, he walked right past where it sat in the corner of the porch and left it there. He didn't even noticed what he had done until the next morning. There it was, full of seed catalogues, women's catalogues, Land's End and L L Bean, a couple of Baker's Catalogues, and half a dozen Harbor Freights and Cabela's, still sitting in the corner waiting for its trip to the dump. And now it will wait another month, probably.
Which all reminds me of my personal Bible study. I have read the Bible through more than half a dozen times. Yet it never fails that when I am studying something I find a passage that seems brand new to me. "I have never read this before," I will tell myself, as if someone could possibly have come along one night while I slept and put it in there. Of course I've read it, but it had never stood up and waved at me before. Can I give you a couple of really easy study tips this morning to help you avoid this?
1. Read more slowly. We all mean well when we plan to read the Bible every day. But too often, we find ourselves saving it for last, or for the few minutes we have between other chores, and just zip right through it to get it done. Don't. Read for the time you have. God didn't put those chapter divisions in there anyway, so if you have to stop in the middle of one, so what? Far better to try to read by paragraph (subject), S-L-O-W-L-Y.
2. Ask yourself questions while you read. What did that just say? Who is he referring to? Where was he when he said/did this? What does that word mean? Where have I heard this name before? What does this have to do with what I just read in the last paragraph? What did that command mean in that particular culture? That will automatically slow you down, and make you think about what you are reading, which, in turn, will help you remember it.
3. Read from a version you are unfamiliar with. I am always looking for large print Bibles these days. I found a Holman with the largest print I had ever seen—Giant Print, I think they call it. After checking with some people I trusted who said it was as reliable a version as most any other modern one, I picked it up. When I started reading, I could hardly put it down. "It does not say that!" I said out loud more than once. But when I picked up my old favorite American Standard (1901) that my father had when he went to Florida College in 1946, I found that I was wrong. It most certainly did say that, just not exactly in the words I expected. And that small change made me notice much more than I ever had before. I learned more in a few days than I had the entire month before.
I hope this helps you in your study. We all mean well when we pick up God's Word, but let's not treat it like the sack of trash in the corner, something that's always there and thus, goes unnoticed.
For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. (Deut 30:11-14).