My husband and I were talking about our kids the other night. The chosen topic was our sons, who are two totally different people. I mean, they are night and day, black and white, meat and cheese, dogs and cats-----you get the picture.
The one thing they both have in common is being a middle child. I don't know what your opinion on the birth order is, but to me its pretty clear. Kids have certain issues depending on where they are in the birth order. Strengths and weaknesses. This leads to tremendous competition to have the choicest middle child position.
Their stress related to this issue is manifested differently, but recently one of the boys seems to be struggling more. Thankfully, my husband has been willing to put some time in with him. He was telling me that when he was talking with our boy he had tried to build him up and show him his own worth.
Wise man that he is, he explained that while one son has tremendous natural athletic ability, he has a tendency to be little lazy in that regard. On the other hand, the son with a little less natural ability is always learning and listens to all the instruction from his coach/dad.
Both have the potential to do a great job, in sports and in life. But they will have to spend their time working on different things. On thinking about it, I think in some ways I am more like the son with the ability.
I experienced all the benefits of growing up in a Biblical home. Generations of my family had loved and served the Lord faithfully. The Bible was a tremendous influence in my life, as were the Godly testimonies of those around me. Early in life my Bible knowledge exceeded many adults. After graduating from high school I attended a Bible Institute and then another Bible College.
Now, years later (not saying how many) I find that too often I am depending on what I learned as a child to maintain me for the rest of my life. I have become lazy in my study of the Bible. Frequently, I find myself lightly reading over a passage and a little note in my brain, says, "oh, yeah, you know this one"---then I can move on to think about whatever else is spinning in my mind. Unfortunately, that precious time is used up with me gaining little new insight from the Lord.
As a result of this, I decided to begin studying I&II Thessalonians. No particular reason, other than we had a study guide for those books, that had yet to be used. Using that as a guide, I am already learning so much.
Recently I read that often we keep our old Bible because we love being able to go right to the passages that mean the most to us. Our favorite verses are highlighted, and we skip right to them. Often at the expense of other wonderful passages that the Lord would use in our lives if only we would read them.
I believe this is true. I have been holding on to my Bible that I have loved for over two decades, and that is exactly what I do. In my laziness I count on verses that meant something to me in the past---wonderful, often comforting verses. The problem is, the Bible is a living Book. By depending on the mountain top experiences of other times in my life, I restrict myself to living in the past. The God of my fathers, wants to bless me today.
So I will endeavor to study, really study, a little each day. I will ask the Lord to give me fresh insight into each passage, and a new appreciation of the living Word of God. Being a perfectionist often gets in my way, in Bible study, as in everything else. I have to start somewhere.
Maybe it's time for me to start looking at finding a new Bible without any marks in it yet. I can spend the next 20 years loving it. I do know that my current Bible will stay around, where I can go for encouragement on those discouraging days when the Lord seems far away.
Laziness---its a battle I will always face. My son will probably always have to as well (sad, but true). I want to be an example to all of my kids, and I desperately need daily blessings from God's Word for myself. Better to start somewhere and grab onto the Lord there, than to never start at all (my own version of a well-known quote).
A verse I memorized early in life, is a truth I continue to learn today.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." II Tim. 2:15