My daily routine consists of waking up (hopefully!) fixing the coffee, grabbing my NLT Bible and plopping down on the old, comfy chair in my little office/laundry room/foyer. I bought this particular Bible called The One Year Bible For New Believers because it breaks down the entire Old and New Testaments into 365 daily readings. I choose to read only the New Testament and Proverbs section (almost) every day. If I skip a day or two I just take a little bit longer and catch up another day. I did some research on the different Bible versions and decided on the NLT (New Living Translation). To me it’s just so easy to understand and I feel like I was sitting right there with the Apostle Paul as he’s writing his letters. Sometimes I compare passages and grab my New King James Version or New American Standard Bibles. But for my daily reading I love my NLT.
I haven’t always been a Bible reader. :) Actually I’m pretty new to the Bible even though I grew up in a Methodist church and went to Sunday school as a child. I really started getting serious about Christianity and wanting to know Jesus about 3 or 4 years ago. However, from as far back as I can remember I’ve always felt a very deep, inner sense of the spiritual especially at age 18 when I had a vision, but I’ll leave that for another post.
I’ve also had a very strong connection with nature since I was a child. The peace and sense of a renewed spirit I feel when I’m walking in the woods or watching the sunset at the beach is awesome. I’ve always been a huge animal lover as well and I’m very sensitive to the cruelties a lot of them face. At one point I was a strict vegetarian because it bothers me to eat another living being. I eat meat now, sparingly, only because my body needs those foods I grew up on. (I became anemic at one point and my doctor told me my body needed animal products). So now before a meal I say a prayer for the animal that was killed for my nourishment. I was also a member of a few animal rights groups and I still support some groups today when I can. I just have this inner sense that all living things have a soul and that we are all connected; what you do to one you do to all.
So to nourish my soul and keep that spiritual connection alive, I try to spend time outside every day. If I can’t, I still spend a few minutes in prayer and meditation, usually in the morning after reading my Bible passages. My relationship with God/nature is not just about asking for help and memorizing scripture; it’s also learning to listen to that small, still voice within (the Holy Spirit). It’s like any other successful relationship where both parties participate in communicating, both speaking and listening. And just like physical exercise, my daily “walk” with God has a cumulative effect. The results may not be all that noticeable at first glance but there definitely is an overall positive effect and a continual change for the better.