It’s strange when you get to a point where you just don’t enjoy the things that you love anymore.
Maybe you had a favorite movie that you watch all the time as a kid and LOVED. Then, you revisit it as an adult, and you realize that the acting is terrible, and the plot is full of holes. Or, the director goes on to make a bunch of other movies and starts putting himself in them as a actor, and forces these weird twist endings into every script that just don’t make sense. Or, you go to film school, and learn all about the intricacies of writing and directing and cinematography, and now you can’t turn your brain off and just enjoy the movies any more.
Or, worse, someone reboots it 20 years later, and the director takes the thing you loved and decides they want it to “say something” new, and makes the characters do things they’d NEVER do, and everything is CGI, but it makes a billion dollars now little kids are running around wearing shirts of the new version….
The things you love can get skewed. They get talked about poorly, and misused. Things you once really enjoyed can get so complicated that you start to hate them because there’s no joy left.
I loved the Bible, but I got to a point where I stopped reading it. I mean, I’d talk about it often, but sitting down and reading it became a chore. I always felt guilty because I wasn’t reading it “enough.” I always got angry because of the way it got abused by abusive people in sheep's clothing. I started to worry so much about reading and interpreting it “right” that I was missing the stories that had once inspired me to do great things.
There’s a great moment on The Simpsons where Bart is pretending to read a book to look like he hasn’t been causing a ruckus, but then realizes what book he accidentally grabbed:
“Wow, time really flies when you’re reading… THE BIBLE?! Eeeeeewww…”
...and he cautiously sets the book back down on the table. I know it’s one of those jokes that’s a poke at religious folks, but it’s always made me laugh hysterically. It’s the truth told in the way that only that show could (at least, the way only that show could during seasons 2-11).
Often, like Bart, we avoid the Bible like the plague. Even religious people seem to look at reading it more as task on a To Do List - something we have to set New Years Resolutions to get us to open it - than something that we are really fascinated by, love, and enjoy.
But, what if all of us - religious or not - could actually ENJOY reading the Bible? What if we have made it too complicated, too rigorous, too political, and just sucked out the feeling, turning a super book into a super drag?*
Maybe we can find a way to read it again that might actually make it interesting. I’ve found a way that works for me - and I’m hoping it might help for you too. That's why I created "Lo-Fi Lectionary" - a podcast that will take us through the Bible and let us either re-discover a lost love in the text, or possibly love it for the first time.
*see what I did there?