The last few weeks, I have spent time just trying to clear away clutter. The motivation? I came across a brief, one page article by David Allen, author of Getting Things Done. (Allen’s book has been very helpful to me in many ways.) So the other day I stumbled upon an article that Allen recently wrote about beginning a new year. The short article motivated me to clear out some clutter. Last weekend this included a closet that needed cleaning, my desk at home that needed overhauling, and several "stacks" that I had been ignoring.
The last few weeks, I have been skimming through a number of book reviews. You may have noticed on the sidebar of this blog a section for book reviews (i.e., The New York Times, Books and Culture). These book reviews are very helpful to me in terms of keeping up with what is being written and discussed. It only takes a trip to Barnes & Noble for me to realize that there are far more books coming out than I will ever have the time (or inclination) to read. However, I do want to have an awareness of what is being written that is either significant or has become a part of the conversation in this country.
For a minister, this is one reason why a site like Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed is so helpful. He regularly reviews many books that I at least want to be aware of. In the last few years, I have read a number of these books. His review of a particular book will often help me notice an author I want to read and spend time with.
During the last few weeks, I have been thinking about some projects I have actually been avoiding. Sometime around Thanksgiving, I began to realize that there were several big projects lurking out there that I had been avoiding. A few of these relate to work and a few of these relate to our house. I began to notice that I would acknowledge to myself that the project was there but I would never break it down into the steps I needed to take. Consequently, I didn’t get anything done on the project. These have a way of becoming like dark gray clouds looming overhead. Anyway, I made a short list of these and then began to think about what I needed to do with each one of these.
The last few weeks, I have done some thinking about my Bible reading. For several years, I have spent much time in the Psalms. I have done this for my own nourishment. On one occasion, I read through the Psalms highlighting in yellow every attribute of God, every description of God, etc. I was amazed and strengthened by what I saw. This kind of reading nourishes and strengthens me.
I am finding, though, that there is another kind of Bible reading I need to do. Tim Keller speaks about "rapid Bible reading." That is, there is value in reading through the Bible in such a way so as to regularly be exposed to the vast terrain of Scripture. This is not a substitute for slow, thoughtful and prayerful reading of Scripture. I want to continue to do that. However, I realize that it has been a long time since I have read some significant books of the Bible. So, I am thinking about a way to do this slow reading and yet also have time to read at a rapid pace.
Finally, during the last few weeks, I spent some time thinking about my/our future. Far too often, I get so wrapped up in what I need to do today or this week that I don’t really step back and look at the past/present/future as one big picture. I especially want to do this as I think about what it is that I believe God wants me to be about today, tomorrow, and in months and years to come.
I don’t know if any of this is helpful to you as you think about your own life. (It certainly helps me, though, just to think about it as I write.)