by Randi Peck
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”
I am terrible at directions. No, truly- I think the compass in my brain is literally missing! I have lived in Medford twenty-one of my twenty-five years and I still get lost trying to find Win-Co… even though it’s two miles from my house. I have shown up fifteen minutes late to more than one event, not because I was late out the door but because I drove in circles, crying in frustration as I failed to spot my destination. I remember remarking to my Dad, “Wouldn’t you just die if I became a cartographer [a person who makes maps]?” He shot back, “No. But a lot of other people would.”
Need I elaborate and embarrass myself further? I think you get the picture. So you can imagine, with my navigationally-challenged mind, that Jen Wilkin’s analogy of getting lost in a new city struck a cord with me. In her book Women of the Word (you must read this!) she tells the following story:
“Several years ago I moved from Houston to Dallas. Having lived in Houston for thirteen years, I could drive its streets with ease. I had no idea how to navigate Dallas, so I used a GPS to get everywhere I needed to go. It was a great feeling… But three years later, I still didn’t know my way around Dallas without that GPS. If its battery died or if I left home without it, I was in big trouble.”
Wilkin goes on to explain that she eventually became acquainted with her new hometown- but not before she ditched the handy GPS. By her own account,
“I had to allow myself to get lost. I had to wander around a bit, plan extra travel time, miss some exits, and make wrong turns in order to learn for myself the routes my GPS had spoon-fed me. Guess what? I learned better routes.”
Jen Wilkin used her experience to speak to the Biblical illiteracy prominent in our church culture. To be completely honest, when I hear the term “Biblical illiteracy”, my first reaction is to slap the label onto the backs of others, not myself. After all, I have grown up in the church since I was one year old. I am among the ranks who memorized “Jesus Loves You” before I could sing my alphabet and memorized the Roman’s Road alongside my multiplication tables. I have attended Bible College. Heck, I’m married to a pastor. Biblically illiterate? Pshhh… Not I.
I talk about the Bible often, and I hear about the Word all the time. But upon further examination, I confess that I am guilty of all too often looking for a quick fix of inspirational fuel in the morning. Rather than probing the pages of God’s Word, ravenously hungry for Him to speak directly to me, I grab for the next podcast, blog, commentary, Greek lexicon, or devotional to explain my Biblical queries. When I realized this, Jen’s words struck me with conviction and excitement: “I had to allow myself to get lost.”
It’s no secret that most Biblical resources tend to be more palatable than the Good Book itself. And often they are highly helpful and instrumental in our quest toward knowing God. I implore you to look up Desiring God sermons and Gospel Coalition blogs. I could recommend dozens of books and shoot you links to sermons all day long. They are all wonderful. But these should be secondary resources. There is nothing- NOTHING- like God’s Scripture to bring light and life to your path!
I am so excited for the group of women reading through the Bible this year at Heritage. I would also highly recommend what a friend and I just started doing together (an idea we stole from Jen Wilkin): we printed out the Bible, starting with Genesis, and slapped it in a binder. We formatted it with wide margins and double-spaced, so it gives plenty of space for highlighting and jotting down our notes, questions, and cross-references. I have already been blown away at how God can speak to us simply through the guidance of His Spirit by the power of His Word!
Let’s be clear: there will be days the kids are sick. There will be mornings the boss calls you in early. And, hey, there will be times when you will sleep in and skip time with the Lord for no good reason at all except that in the fog of the morning and the warmth of your comforter, snooze button was calling your name. God’s grace is sufficient. We don’t have our “time with the Lord” to earn His favor.
But make no mistake: the primary way God wants to speak to you is through His Spirit, by His Word. This is a challenge. But more than that, it is an invitation: a sacred, holy, and beautiful privilege that the Lover of all Lovers, the King of all Kings desires to speak to us daily! Don’t underestimate the power of the Book. Its truths are unchanging, its wisdom higher than the heavens. It is living, powerful, life-giving, and soul-transforming. Be willing to get lost in its pages… in doing so, I promise you will find treasure beyond all compare!