I read a lot. I’m constantly reading something. That is not new. I have always loved to read. I constantly brag to my wife that I was in the advanced reading group in kindergarten. For some reason she has not been super impressed by that.
But lately I have been reflecting on what I read. This reflection has caused a little unrest in my soul. You see, we only have so much time in a day. I have a job. I have two kids. I have a lovely wife. I have the NBA. I have the NFL. I have friends. I have friends in California I never call. I have Life in Pieces. I have Netflix. I have Amazon Prime. I have the gym (haha, just kidding).
My point is that I have a lot of things competing for my time.
I believe these are all good things, but even good things can become trouble if they take over.
So the time I set aside for reading, be it at work or home, should be filled with reading good, quality material. I do not need to spend an hour reading about whether the Oklahoma City Thunder will work out the kinks after adding Paul George and Carmelo Anthony (hint: trade Paul George). I do not need to read 5 articles on the Raiders offensive struggles this year, one can suffice. Maybe it is not sports for you. Maybe it is mommy blogs or the latest news on the newest iPhone coming out. Maybe reading does not even make it on your radar at all because you plant yourself in front of the laptop or TV and spend time there.
I want to be intentional in growing in my knowledge of God and our world in 2018.
This of course starts with the bible and time in prayer. That will always be the standard. However, choosing what I do in the time not in the word or prayer is vital. This means reading the right things. Anyone can do this now with the mass availability of books and audio books, and I want to read good, soul-enriching books.
To do that, I have come to the conclusion that what I spend my time reading must change. It will not always be fun because I will have to look at memes less. It will not always be easy because I will read more books and less articles and blogs. I fully believe, however, that it will be far more fruitful. To this end, I have set up some tangible goals.
For 2018, here are my reading goals:
Read at least 40 books. This is in addition to reading the bible.
Of the 40, 25 will be theological in nature.
5 books will be biographies of departed Christians.
5 books will be secular in nature. This means non-Christian history, biography, or cultural books.
5 will be fiction books. Please do not judge me, but I love detective and spy books.
Some books I already have in mind for 2018:
The Benedict Option: Strategy for Christians in a post-Christian Nation, Rod Dreher
Empires of Dirt, Douglas Wilson
Reading the Bible Supernaturally, John Piper.
The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan
How to Preach and Teach the Old Testament for All It’s Worth, Christopher J.H. Wright
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Eric Metaxas
Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, Rolan H. Bainton
Blink, Malcolm Gladwell
Some C.S. Lewis book I have not read yet.
Anything by Harlan Coben.
Kenneth Gentry’s commentary on Revelation that was supposed to be out six months ago.
If anyone is interested in reading any of these books with me, please let me know. I would love to have a reading partner for any of them. Also feel free to ask me how my list is going when you see me.
Now my only question is how I am going to pay for all this…