Quick note: I’ve had to fix a couple of broken links, and hope you weren’t overly bothered by the problem. Sorry.
Have you ever chased a rabbit? I’m not thinking about four-footed furry fur balls like Bugs Bunny or Thumper. Now, you need to understand my feelings about famous rabbits – I like most of them. I have laughed more times than can accurately be counted at Bug’s antics and predicaments he’s gotten himself into. It’s not hard to recall the size of Thumper’s enormous feet in Disney’s famous Bambi.
Our daughter has a big heart, and was given a very furry rabbit about a year ago. With the help of our granddaughters, we affectionately named her Funny Bunny. There was a small cage for her while indoors, but she didn’t like it very much, so we built a small pen around a grapefruit tree in our back yard. How many times she climbed out of the pen is anybody’s guess. She wasn’t content to just get out of the pen, she had to get out of the fenced yard, too. We chased that rabbit down so many times, and it was always a big ordeal. That silly rabbit wasn’t very cooperative.
No, I’m referring to an all to common practice in which we wander down trails, ditches, highways and other roads instead of sticking with the topic at hand. Does this ring a bell with any of you? Speaking of bells, did you hear about… Get the idea?
How many times have you been in a conversation and couldn’t keep up because you couldn’t remember what you were talking about? I’m not referring to having a moment we older people have sometimes; you just keep up because of all the rabbit trails you’re going down. Chasing rabbits! I know someone who takes forty-five minutes to answer a simple question that should only a couple of minutes. Please, just get to the point.
Now that the groundwork has been laid, it’s time to give the reason for this post. I began a wonderful journey on my wife’s birthday which is following a daily Bible reading plan. This has been a life-changing experience for me, and I thank God for the time to pursue this needful part of my life.
The Word of God is so rich and full of life, it would be easy to follow reference after reference, never completing my daily reading portion. In case you don’t know, I am a pastor, and love to study God’s eternal Word. I tend to study a subject thoroughly in order to preach the truth of God’s Word. It is not uncommon for me to get so wrapped up in following references that I begin preparing several messages at once.
Determined to follow the reading plan as much as possible, I found myself in a dilemma. Chasing rabbits was certainly out of the question, but there are so many rabbits to chase! What is a studious person to do? One answer, which would please the enemy of our souls to no end, would simply be “don’t read.” Well, that is totally unacceptable. Another idea would be to give in to the temptation and follow those rabbits down the rabbit trails. No, that wouldn’t work, either.
After some consideration and being finely attuned to my environment, the solution to my problem presented itself in a rather simple fashion. The answer was before me all the time, I just didn’t have the foresight to grasp the simple idea. Now, instead of chasing rabbits, I’m corralling them. They go straight to the pen, or in my case, the notes section of my desk calendar. It was one of those “I could have had a V8” moments.
Here’s how it works: while reading a portion of scripture that jumps out at me, instead of following the rabbit trail, I just quickly jot down the scripture and a very brief description on my calendar, then continue reading. Now, instead of spending time chasing the rabbit, I complete my reading portion, then, when time permits, I can go to the calendar to find a starting place, then chase rabbits to my heart’s content.
After months of searching, I finally found a pad folio jr. at a Franklin Covey store in a local mall. It’s a nice leather one, and I got it for about half off. I also found a nice Lamy yellow roller ball pen on sale, which happens to be on my desk at the parsonage. While at an office supply store within the last couple of days, I bought eight spiral-bound notepads that fit the pad folio perfectly (they were $1.01 each). Careful! We don’t want to chase any rabbits.
The point is, I’m now using both the calendar and pad folio jr. to jot my notes in. It’s almost like journaling, but with scriptures and thoughts related to them. This seems to be working as planned, but I will surely use a lot of fountain pen ink this way.
Now, how do you use your journal and Bible together? Please give me some ideas. Do any of you use the journals from R. L. Allan and Sons? What is your favorite method for writing your scripture thoughts down?
Remember, don’t chase the rabbits unless you absolutely have to.