15 Minutes

I started reading The One Year Chronological Bible NIV a month ago today. On the back cover, it says you can read the entire Bible in one year by reading just 15 minutes a day. I've noticed my daily readings are about 4 pages in length. 4 pages! How have I not read the entire Bible through every year before now if I only needed to read 4 pages per day? Honestly, I didn't like the structure of most one year Bibles where you read part of the Old or New Testament and a little bit of Psalms or Proverbs every day. That was too confusing for me. I like things to go in order. To wrap my mind around a concept, I have to start at the beginning. So you can imagine that I am loving every minute of every reading in the Chronological Bible and sincerely hope this desire and discipline remain for the next 11 months.

But should I read the Bible twice through in one year? It would only be 8 pages a day which would be a total of 30 minutes of reading. I say to myself, "Yeah, I could definitely read it twice through in one year." Ah, but there's more than just reading. There's the meditating, prayer time, Scripture memory... And what if I miss a day? It's easy to catch up on a few missed days with the way the readings are organized as is. Better stick to the "15 minutes."

This is how I think sometimes: the more the better. But what happens when those great expectations aren't realized? I end up with 0 instead of 15. For example, in college it was the norm to have 1 hour daily devotions. I had way more free time than I do now. I have had to learn that just because I don't have as much time as I would like today, I have a little bit of time. I shouldn't disregard a task meant for today in hopes for a more substantial amount of time that can be dedicated to it tomorrow. Just like compound interest, the little bit that I give today will be quite significant over time.

Other than reading my Bible for 15 minutes a day, I started to think of other ways that I could apply the concept of just 15 minutes a day.
  • Exercise. If I'm going to get in my gear, I want a long, worthwhile workout. Bryant always tells me it's better to be consistent in this area rather than sporadic. It's better to run 2 miles a day (15 minutes or so) than run once a week for 105 minutes (15 x 7). In order to be consistent in this area, I'm asking for a treadmill for my birthday and Christmas gift. I'm thinking it will be so much more convenient to hop on the treadmill than wait for amiable weather conditions since I don't run or walk in the cold, hot, rain or snow (did I miss anything?).
  • Brushing Miles. I know this sounds ridiculous, but since Miles is 1/2 Poodle his hair gets tangled if not brushed often. If I skip a few days, it gets so bad it takes forever to work out the knots. I take Miles about every 4 weeks to a professional groomer and he comes out of there with straight hair as fluffy and soft as a teddy bear. He probably wonders why he gets so much attention on those days... Poor thing, if only I would spend 15 minutes a day combing him so he would stay snuggly all the time.
  • Paperwork. I get off work around 4:00 to 5:00 every day. My workday consists of meetings, presentations and trainings. I record what was discussed at these meetings and how to follow up with my clients. When I get home around 5:00, my brain switches gears. I grab the mail, greet my family, and turn off work. But if only I could spend 15 minutes each night to enter the details of the day into my computer, I wouldn't have the ongoing pile of paperwork that's sitting on my desk right now. 15 minutes a day adds up to 105 minutes a week; and once I have a couple of hours of paperwork ahead of me, it's like I get paralyzed. When I have an insane amount to do, sometimes I don't know where to start and it just sits there.
  • Dinner time. Bryant and I don't do much for dinner. We tend to eat a more substantial lunch than dinner. Here again, even though I don't spend an hour in the kitchen each night, I can still make something in 15 minutes. A salad, baked potato or veggies only takes 15 minutes of hands-on preparation. It might not be what Julia Child would make, but it is SOMETHING.
I guess this list evolved over the past week as I've been thinking about what a big impact a small concept can make when applied daily. I'm curious, are there any areas in your life that you relate to the 15 minutes a day concept?

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