I like to make lists.
I like grocery lists, reading lists, to-do lists, and Christmas lists. I like to make lists of goals for the New Year. I like to accomplish things and cross them off my list with the thick and final swoosh of an ink pen.
Yes, I am first born in my family’s sibling line-up, how did you guess? And yes, I do have a Type-A personality. But such an approach does not bode well for my spiritual life.
For many years I made the same types of lists for my spiritual growth: read the Bible in a year, memorize a certain amount of scripture, read Mere Christianity, pray more.
And every year, I generally failed. Well, I did read the Bible in a year once. But typically I’d start out praying consistently for a week before forgetting. I’d memorize scripture for about a month before losing momentum.
Nothing is wrong with these types of goals in and of themselves. Actually, they can be conduits of knowing God better, but not always and not necessarily. Sometimes it depends on why I’m doing them. Am I reading the Bible to know God more, or to just fly through four chapters a day to check it off my list with a flourish?