This will be the year I read my Bible, I have sworn every New Year’s Eve since the Bible in a Year podcast was released. Each January 1, I begin my year with an oversized cup of hot cocoa, my Bible, and Fr. Mike Schmitz. The Bible, along with an assortment of highlighters, pens, and Post-Its, stays on my desk until sometime in mid-February when I inevitably miss a day due to a pressing university assignment or an unexpected flu and give up. If I can’t read the Bible in a year, why even bother?
As a society of instant gratification, we hold this attitude toward many things. We want to see results fast, so we put time limits on our goals as we do with New Year’s resolutions (“This year I’m going to learn a new language;” “This year I’m going to go to the gym every day.”).
Once we fail even in the slightest or realize that these goals might take longer than expected, we throw our hands up and storm off like a flippant toddler.
While my parents have always told me that my 20s are for learning new things, the beginning of my young adulthood was plagued by this rash way of thinking. Only recently I saw a quote that completely transformed me: The time will pass anyway.
Wow. This is a definitive and obvious truth, yet it felt like a punch to my gut through my phone screen.
In the present moment, it’s difficult to see that the effort we put into achieving our goals will pay off, no matter how long they take. Yet the time will pass regardless, and those engaging in instant gratification will have nothing to show for it in the end.
As I became more aware of this, the time-related doubts that had previously hindered me from persevering in my passion projects dissipated. Suddenly, there was no more “It’s going to take forever to see results in the gym,” or “It will take so long to learn a new language;” instead there was “The time will pass anyway,” and I was in control of how I spent that time.
While I still struggle with the fact that I’m on year three of Bible in a Year, I have to remind myself daily that choosing to spend time working toward this goal of mine will ultimately be worthwhile. In the end, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, because the time will pass anyway.
This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.