I’m about to unleash the best tip on finding what your looking for. It’s so simple, yet so profound.
It’s different than a department store all nicely divided into sections. Clothes neatly hung in an orderly fashion, home goods displayed in the back. It’s easy to see how looking over piles of junk and miscellaneous items can be intimidating. You may have a laundry list of items you’re looking for but with all the stuff assaulting you, it’s hard to see anything.
Sometimes, even when you want to look for a lot and soak in everything you happen upon, you have to narrow your sights. Looking for a new armoire and a replacement tea cup all at the same time is havoc for your eyes. They aren’t the same size, won’t likely be in the same spot and don’t really even go together. At least for me it’s just too much to process all at once.
My golden nugget of advice: pick one. Pick one thing to focus on and you are way more likely to find it. It starts with a priority list. Once you scour a garage sale or completely assess a booth for that one thing, you can move on. Either with it in hand or still on the top of your list. If you don’t find what you’re searching for stay at it with tenacity. If you do find your goal then you easily move on to the next item on your list. I know this from experience. I have walked right past treasures I was searching for, caught up in the enormity of goods laid out before me, only to have a friend point out what I missed. I wasn’t focused on any one thing, therefore all slipped by. I enjoyed the view, but gained nothing.
This same advice works for your bible. It’s a big book filled with a ton of information. It can be so overwhelming, hard to understand and easy to pass right over treasures of truth. How often do you read entire passages only to look up and not really have an applicable take away? Do you even know what it is you’re looking for? Truths about marriage may not be tucked in nicely next to fighting an addiction. And where do you even look for information on those things anyway? The bible is clearly labeled with chapter and verse, but the roadmap gets a little blurry after that.
My advice: pick one. Pick one topic you want to grow your knowledge in and go after it hard. It might be learning what the bible says about being a Godly wife, mentoring others, finances, grief or joyfulness. Whatever thing you set your sights on will stand out loud and clear instead of getting lost in the verses blazing by. This simple concept has helped me read the bible with a different filter. It’s often a filter that changes with stages of life. You have to start with a goal in mind, a deep desire to learn and grow in knowledge that holds eternal value. Then you hunt. You ask around, you read the cross references and commentaries, you exhaust resources until you find what you’re looking for.
As I search the text for specific meaning to where I am in my journey I soak up what God has for me today. When I feel filled up on a topic I move to the next. Sometimes topics come back around, hungry for more knowledge. It’s like a never ending shopping list that you never really complete. And that’s a good thing! We will never stop having more to learn and search out.
Our seasons of life promise to change, our focus will shift and problems will come and go. The good news is the bible will always hold the answer to any subject we desire to know more about and there will always be another garage sale on the horizon!
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