Five years ago, a friend introduced me to one of her friends who was moving to Midland, and she introduced us via… wait for it… LinkedIn! It was an odd start to a friendship, but I’ve since become good friends with Amy Claire and her now-husband, Jack. Midland is transient and I’ve seen many people come and go, and I’m sad to add Jack and Amy Claire to that list. A few months ago I asked Jack to write a post for me, so in honor of their last week in Midland, I thought I’d post it today. Jack and Amy Claire, you will be missed.
I, like many people, rarely if ever re-read any book or article, but like many Christians, I strive to read scripture every day despite having already read the Bible in its entirety. Maybe you have read the Bible in its entirety too, and are wondering why you should re-read it, or maybe you have only read excerpts and think you get the picture, and now you’re wondering why you should spend more time in the Word. I hope to convince you why you should spend time reading your Bible again.
To set the stage, you need to know two things about me. First, I’m married to an absolutely wonderful girl, Amy Claire. Second, I have played soccer since I was three––a fact that Amy Claire loves to mock me about. Needless to say, I’ve spent thousands of hours around soccer. Amy Claire, meanwhile, could count on one hand the times she has spent around the sport, and she is not a fan. But being a loving wife, she tries to enjoy things I enjoy. One night, this sweetness led to the two of us watching soccer highlights like this one showcasing Barcelona’s famous tiki-taka style and these of two of my favorite players: Andres Iniesta and N’Golo Kante. A defining quality among these videos is that they largely do not highlight goals––the moment most celebrated and highlighted by fans. Instead, these videos focus on the less exciting moments in the game: passing, dribbling, and defense. Moments that I see as truly beautiful and reflective of the game are moments that Amy Claire sees as the uneventful filler between goals. After watching the videos, I was inspired; she was unmoved.
What could explain these different reactions? I have spent countless hours practicing in the hope of mastering these skills and can recognize the masterclass being displayed. My appreciation of the less-celebrated happenings of the sport comes from my time spent with the game.
This experience, however, is not unique to soccer or to us. In fact, I imagine that a similar experience is common among all who seek to master any pursuit. Importantly, this includes finding meaning and understanding God’s Word.
One example of this for me is reading the book of Ruth. Ruth is a love story written in the Bible to show an example of a godly relationship. Ruth is faithful to Naomi and is eventually blessed with a relationship with honorable Boaz. When I first read Ruth, this is all I learned, but upon reading again, Ruth represents a much deeper message: God’s divine care and ability to fulfill his covenant promise through small, seemingly unrelated events and moments. Through Ruth, God allows us to track the lineage of David, and ultimately Jesus, back to the judges through the use of two seemingly-small relationships.
Charles Spurgeon, a renowned nineteenth-century pastor, famously noted that the Bible “widens and deepens with our years.” Scripture itself recognizes this notion. In Psalms 119, the Psalmist recounts how his meditation on God’s statutes has led to increased understanding, insight, and wisdom. So today if you’re wondering why you should re-read God’s Word, remember that at first you only celebrated the goals, but with time you’ll see God’s majesty in the passing, dribbling, and defense.