Now comes the part where I tell on myself, out myself for the hypocritical, Pharisaical, performance-driven approval-suck that I really am.
You’ve been stopping by this site, hoping to read something new, for three months now. I’ve avoided posting anything, because I’ve been struggling. All the time pressures we constantly chat about on The Morning Cruise, my “five kids, two jobs” mantra, play a part in my absence. They’ve had a supporting role in my dramatic failure as a leader of this community of would-be Bible readers. But the starring role goes to something more personally involved.
Here is the YouVersion chart of my Bible reading since the first of the year. Please notice the week’s gap in my reading in May. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t like gaps. When I was a kid, my parents used to talk about how beautiful Lauren Hutton is. With all due respect to Lauren and David Letterman, I’m just not into gaps.
Yet, there it is, the gap in my front teeth, the week in May when I got so off track in my Bible reading that there was no salvaging it, the week where the question was forced: “Do I hit reset?”
Now, there’s a backstory. First, the chart shows consistency. I didn’t quit. I’m still working through my daily Bible reading plan. That’s a good thing, and I sincerely hope it encourages you to keep doing the same. What the chart doesn’t show is the real story. It doesn’t show you how I really got off track in April, around Easter, very busy days for the show, the church and the family.
What you don’t see is how inconsistent I was for over a month, piling up days of readings and then trying to catch up, wrestling with emotions of frustration and discouragement, cheating my reading time to accomplish more pressing things. It doesn’t betray my sometimes indifference, sometimes negligence, my native procrastination. These were the real enemies during April and May.
Even more: I couldn’t hit reset. This is the really hypocritical thing. I told you and everyone else that perfection was not a high value in this community. I told you not to sweat if you missed a couple of days. “Just hit reset,” I pontificated, “and keep the daily habit going–that’s the point.”
But I had such a nice chart going. With each block of green, I was affirming my need to be an overachiever, gain (someone’s?) approval and cement my reputation as scholarly, accomplished. Dung.
Perhaps more insidious, more psychologically interesting at least, is the fact that I did not want to hit reset because I started my Bible reading plan on January 1, and I want to finish it on December 31. I like balance. As much as I don’t like gaps, I do love to color inside the lines. Hitting reset would have pushed my plan outside the lines.
So, I finally realized I wasn’t going to catch up, and it was completely missing the point to cram weeks of reading into a day. (And I couldn’t find the day to do so!) So, I decided, maybe like Jacob wrestling the angel, to accept my crippled condition and move on, weaker but stronger.
And I decided to tell you about it.
If you are wounded by your own imperfection, your inability to stick to a plan, your need for approval by pretense, like me, please take this as your official pardon, forgive yourself, and move on with me.
We all have gaps, sometimes as prominent as the gap in my front teeth.