Beyond lost immediacy
My bible reading used to be motivated by a strong sense of immediacy, an expectation that God would speak to me in a direct, obvious and practical way. It was this sense that kept me going back to the bible again and again; I could read it an 'hear God' directly speak into every detail of my life in a no-nonsense one-on-one way.
But like so many Christians who enjoy probing their faith and chewing on difficult questions, one can quickly lose such early, for want of a better word, naivety. And then reading the bible suddenly becomes far more complex and the clear waters that used to so profoundly inspire become muddied. It is like outgrowing the excitement of Christmas morning, waking up on the 25th December without that expected magical feeling. And not only is the bible then left on the shelf, the good book can even become the source of great annoyance! Indeed, some, as a result of this process, turn into outspoken sceptics. Not all of course. Others press in and through their questions (and sometimes faith-crises) to Ricoeur's 'second naiveté', one that does not ignore but is profoundly shaped by the critical phase. For those of you who recognise what I am getting at, I would be interested to hear how you managed to reengage the bible with pleasure. How did you relearn a love for the bible? What changed about your vocabulary, thinking, expectations? Any thoughts?