READING SCRIPTURE – PART 2
In Reading Scripture – Part 1, I was telling you how Ortberg’s message to me was “the goal is to get the Scriptures through us.” How do we actually do this?
The first step toward “getting Scripture through me” was to check my motivation for reading the Bible. I could no longer read it as something to achieve. I had to read it to let the Living Word become more enfleshed in me.
The second step was to:
For a “learning junkie” that was no easy task. It was not about reading for learning but reading for transformation. It was slowing down my mind so that my spirit could be integrated into the process. And even allowing my body to quit twitching because boredom was looming.
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Ortberg instructed us to “land” on one section of the Bible for as long as it takes. I wanted a more prescriptive answer. Yet, this mysterious directive was what I needed. I chose Psalm 23 and landed on verse one for days…no, actually, over a week. He encouraged us to “ponder” the words. I had to look up the word to see what it meant: to give thought to, consider, review, reflect on, mull over, contemplate, study, meditate on, muse on, deliberate about, dwell on, brood on/over, ruminate about/on, chew over, puzzle over, speculate about, weigh up, turn over in one’s mind. That seemed like a tall order. That is, until I tried it.
What if you took five minutes right now to “ponder” Psalm 23:1 – The LORD is my Shepherd I shall not want. As you ponder or after you are done, write down some thoughts. Try the same thing tomorrow; the next day. When you sense you have exhausted your pondering – don’t give up too quickly – ponder verses one and two. So, the process begins.
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By pondering you are practicing a spiritual discipline. In doing so you are training your body, mind and spirit to be a willing vessel for the Living Word to become part of you. Ortberg calls this an activity “that can help you gain power to live as Jesus taught and modeled it.” That might be worth a try.