Tuesday, August 17, 2010

4:20 Redeemed

I recently wrote a post about time in which I said that something has got to give, and it's not the baby. It also shouldn't be reading the Bible. A couple weeks ago, I confessed to Thom that I had only read the Bible on my own (as in apart from reading in church) about three times since Beatrix was born. I am not proud of this.

I've never been particularly disciplined about reading the Bible, partly because I have never been, nor ever will be (from what I can tell), a morning person and somewhere in my Baptist-under-the-name-of-Evangelical-Free-Church upbringing I was made to think that mornings are when you are supposed to read the Bible. Also, it's partly because I'm just lazy. And partly because I don't believe in making "devotional" time into a chore by being legalistic about it. And because I don't like the term "devotional". And also partly because I have a wandering spirit that sometimes doesn't like to hear the truth.

I managed to shake off the morning preconception long ago and in my most habitual times of independent Bible study (which have been lengths of months, even years, but always followed by extended lapses), I read at nighttime. This works out well when you have a regular job and a regular bedtime and you are a night person. It makes having to go to bed earlier than you'd like a little easier because you have in-bed activities to do. (Consequently, some might argue that that's a good transitional activity for morning, but they don't know how much of a morning person I am not.) Right now, however, I'm just home all day and, while I do have a somewhat regular schedule, I'm usually so greedy for sleep by the end of the day (knowing that it will be stolen from me at midnight and again at four by one seemingly innocent little cuddly baby) that I've just let the Bible reading fall by the wayside.

Thom offered to help out. He said that each afternoon, he'd take a break from work and watch Bea for a little while so that I could read the Bible. The next day, right at 4:20pm, he snapped his laptop shut and announced, "Go read your Bible!" I looked at the clock and laughed.

Well, we haven't been quite consistent with it since then, but we're making an effort...and if I could just get it into my groggy head, I am going to try to jump at the chance whenever I see those numbers glowing on one of our many digital clocks. If pot smokers can remember to light up even with significant brain cell loss, I suppose it shouldn't be too difficult for me.


  1. This is very cute :).

    I've struggled with this and with your list of personal betterment items for years. At all times, I have a running list of "shoulds" in my head (I should make this person a birthday card, I should neaten my file of bank statements, I should read that Christian living book, I should use one of the 14 cookbooks on my shelf...). I have tried, more recently, to dissect where each "should" is coming from. Who's telling me that I should I have a cuter wardrobe? Why do I feel like a lesser person because I haven't read Catcher in the Rye yet? Is my life really going to require a Masters degree in something?

    If I can't come up with a good answer, then I try to toss the thought away. Because trying to feel less stupid around L.A. women is just not a good enough reason to spend money I don't have on clothes . And reading a book because people I don't know think it's a classic just really doesn't ultimately provide that much motivation.

    And a lot of those things are clouding my mind and getting in the way of me hearing the things that I'm really supposed to be doing.

  2. I think that's a good strategy...and it may prove a useful one for me too. I guess the thing that I am wondering is if I am the one behind the "shoulds", not others. I mean, I should cook because it's cheaper, healthier, promotes family life, etc. No one is telling me that outright; I know that it's true. That doesn't mean that I need to beat myself up if we go to Chipotle for dinner one night, but I still want to try to cook even if I don't think I have the time - is that wrong? Everything that is related to my creativity/imagination-potential, I feel like I "should" just out of the pure joy that it is to me to create...but at some point it is not joy when I feel like it has to be done.

    That's kind of the problem though; these things really aren't chores to me - they are activities that would I would truly like to do, and would bring joy in the doing. I feel like it's more the openness of possibilities, the way it feels to wonder who your husband will be when you are 8 years old. Now that I'm farther along in life, do I have to give up on some of these things and just focus my energy to a few that I will actually be good at? Or can I keep trying them all until it becomes more obvious what I really should be doing?

  3. I think the latter. But there will just be certain things that you just never find time for, and at a certain point, I think we just have to let them go.

    But artistic expression is something that time should be made for, even if it means ignoring the dishes and vacuuming. You should get at least one Bea nap a week for creativity. At least.