My Little-Grand Experiment
Just over three months ago, I embarked with some friends on my own “little-grand” experiment. We committed to read each day something uplifting, inspiring, or sacred. We aren’t all reading from the same books or synchronizing our reading together. We read what we can, when we can. Sometimes some of us read at 11:45 pm. Sometimes someone will read at 5:00 am. Regardless of when we read, each day we text each other about what we liked best from our reading, or what we learned. It puts a lot more mindfulness into our reading, and the conversations it provokes have been meaningful and uplifting. Most of the time we choose to read from a book of scripture, such as The Holy Bible, or The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Living in Utah, it’s kind of a no-brainer that my texting group people are fellow Mormons, but this could work with any group of friends who share compassion and understanding for multiple belief systems and world-views. (Note: I may have blogged about this before – I can’t remember, and haven’t looked back – but I think it’s a good time for an update, what with this being the month of Thanksgiving and this being something I am most thankful for in my life.)
This can work for you, too! 🙂
I’m partway into November and I haven’t missed a day of scripture reading since July 29, 2014. For me, that’s epic. The one thing I’ve always been consistent about regarding scripture study, is being inconsistent. It’s always been so easy for me to skim, or read quickly with a bunch of distractions around me and not be focused enough to get anything out of it. This kind of approach makes skipping a day pretty easy and I don’t notice as much if I forget to do it one day. Or two days. Or three. Or whatever. Pretty soon I look up and see that it’s been a week or more. The best thing about this new arrangement for me is that I have accountability, but if I miss a day, I don’t have to feel like a failure. I don’t even have to feel like, “Sigh. Wipe it out and start over.” I don’t have to feel like that because I can better see now that the good I did in the past isn’t wiped out with one miss. I can just pick myself up and move on. On top of that, one of us in the group might miss a day of our reading, but we got at least three text messages from others sharing what they’d read and learned. This lifts our thoughts to inspiring or holy things so, in some ways, it’s not a miss at all, it’s just a speed-bump. Get the steering back on course and keep going.
Accountability and strengthening support make all the difference.
Truly, I wish more people would try this. Read something uplifting every day and share it with someone else. Maybe you’ll choose to read The Bible, or Book of Mormon, or The Quran, or The Bagavad Gita, or The Torah, or The Writings of Confucious, or the Tao-te-Ching, or The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, or The Alchemist, or The Tao of Pooh. The point is to take into your life words of wisdom and apply them to yourself. Internalize them and let them change you into a better person — one who is kinder, more thoughtful, more prayerful, more willing to squelch prideful thoughts and behaviors. Imagine what a world this would be if everyone, or even a third of us, were to take the time to do this. I think we’d have more patience and peace than we can even imagine. Just try it. Reach out to two other people and commit to doing this daily reading and sharing thing just for a month. You can evaluate at the end of the month and decide if you want to continue. Personally, I hope to continue this for years to come. Those I do it with may flex and change over time, but I’ve built meaningful friendships, and deepened my relationship with God through this process. And so far, I haven’t missed a day of reading. I can’t always text when traveling, but I think of my friends, and I read, thinking about what I would share if I could text that day.
You can make the world a better place for someone today.
Some wonderful side-effects I’ve personally noticed from doing this:
- I’m more grateful for everything and in all circumstances.
- I’m more patient with God’s timing.
- I’m less judgmental. (Because face it, everyone judges, but you have to learn to self-correct.)
- I’m more likely to turn to scripture when I have questions or I’m facing difficulties in life.
- I pray more effectively and sincerely.
- I trust God more.
- I worry less.
- I have less anger.
- I have more joy in each moment.
- I love my family more.
You can’t beat the effects and the side-effects.
Just so you don’t make the mistake of thinking this genius idea was my own, I read about it here (see below) and I’m so grateful she shared!
July 29, 2014 by Mariel
Today’s post is all about something that up until last January, was super hard for me… consistent scripture reading. Whether you read The Bible or The Bible AND The Book of Mormon, daily devotionals, or whatever else enriches your life, this can work for you.
Okay, so as a member of the Mormon church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), we are asked to actively STUDY the scriptures. And despite the fact that when I do, I learn a ton, I evaluate myself for short-comings, I find answers to prayers, and I feel inspired to be a better person… it’s still hard to make it a habit to read the scriptures every day. It’s been hard my whole life. I get too busy, too tired, too lazy, whatever. But, now I got it down, sista. I haven’t missed a day since January 1st and it’s all because of a simple little trick. The best thing ever.