(I want to thank my wife for sending me the information about this article):
In the March 1996 issue of Prevention magazine, a recent study was reviewed, in which twenty-two women experiencing “high-anxiety” were hooked up to heart monitors and told to spend ten minutes watching the beat of their pulses on special wristwatches. After twelve weeks of this, all of the women had definite improvement in their anxiety levels.
An additional thirty-three women were tested at the same time. Their anxiety-reducing exercise was reading magazines. Reading proved less effective than simply watching a pulse beat. What is it about taking ten minutes to watch your heartbeat that makes one less anxious?
One of the doctors involved in the study said that when you sit and focus on these steady rhythms, you are forced to remain in the moment. Dedicating yourself to this task for ten minutes takes your mind off both the past and the future – the two hobgoblins of modern life.
There are 960 working minutes in a day (if you allow eight hours for sleep). This doctor points out that all of us can find ten minutes for this simple form of “meditation” – especially when the payoff is less stress.
May I suggest a better use of 10 minutes? Read one chapter of the Bible. Then, read it again. Next, reflect on what you have read, and finally, thank the Lord for giving you that 10 minutes to use wisely.
Did you know that, if you read one chapter a day, you would finish the entire Bible in just over 3 years? At that rate, you would not only be growing in God’s word, but by doing the above steps (read the chapter, read it again, reflect on what you’ve read, give God thanks for giving you that 10 minutes to use wisely), you would find peace in the day to come.
Another great way to study the Bible is the “Through the Bible” radio program. It was produced by Dr. J. Vernon McGee back in the time of my youth, and you can go through the entire Bible in 5 years by following his program (He produced a sermon a day for the 5-year program, starting in the Book of Genesis, and finishing with the Book of Revelation). It has no subscription fee, and you can download each day’s lesson from the site. I grew up listening to his sermons, and can attest to it’s meaning in my life. Though I do not agree with everything he says, he is just what I would want in a teacher: gentle, humorous, humble, and most importantly, thoroughly knowledgable in God’s word.
And don’t have a “clean” Bible – mark it up…notes in the edges will help you cross-reference verses or ideas, highlighting verses help you find passages later that meant something important to you. My Bible is marked from beginning to end, and I have not once thought it was a shame to do so.
Finally, do not dispair at the task before you, as million’s have done exactly the same task – to read the Bible, God’s word, is one of the greatest things you can do to understand His plan for you in this life, and prepare you for your eternal life.
However you do it, READ the Bible.
One final comment: Think of the greatest person you have ever known – a celebrity, political figure, friend, loved one, relative. How much did you want to learn about them, and reflect on what they meant in your life? How much more then, should you study the One who made that person, and every other person in this age and every age, all in His image? Get to know the Creator, instead of the created…
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” — Romans 12:1-2
If you don’t run to God, your life will flash by you while you are running to stand still…