I'm not one for New Year's resolutions. Too often our best intentions are dashed by our weaknesses. I do like to establish new disciplines around calendar milestones--- birthdays, Labor Day, New Years etc. By new disciplines I mean things like new routines, new workouts, reading regiments or new work campaigns. I have to thank my colleague and friend Bruce Bergwall for the inspiration to start a new regime at the beginning of '08. It was a daily Bible reading regiment, the intent being to read the entire Bible over the course of the year. The adage that " the road to hell is paved with good intentions" was applicable in this case as the discipline stalled out a month or two in. As I approached the end of December, I thought that that effort might be worthwhile to revive. One of the problems last year is that we got a little bit of a late start --thus we were trying to play catch-up right from the start. The other problem was human weakness.
That's one of the reasons I like to try to periodically implement these new routines. Even recognizing slothful tendencies you never know what is going to stick and when a seed will sprout. This year I've even try to get an early start on the Bible reading. We'll see what happens.
The really interesting thing is that there always seems to be a new discovery even in the most familiar reading . Take the story in Genesis where Adam and Eve have just been reprimanded by God for disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Check out these verses: ( Genesis 3: 17-20)
17 And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return." 20 The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Verses 19 and 20 seem incongruent. In verse 19 Adam is being told he will return to dust and right in the very next line, verse 20 we have a complete change of pace. I'm certainly not a Biblical scholar but doesn't it seem here like a patchwork of stories and with this particular verse we are transitioning to another voice or author.