Reading Is The Worst
Do you like reading? I have noticed that people either love it or hate it. There usually isn't an in-between when it comes to reading. I hate reading. Now, to those that know me would hear that statement and say that I am a liar. If you know me, I usually have two books going at a time, and I usually end up finishing between 20-25 books in a year. So to the untrained eye you would think that I love reading because that is all I do.
However, that is far from the truth. I am learning to enjoy reading the more I do it, but it is not as enjoyable to me as some people would think.
The reason I find reading hard is because of a few reasons. One is that I cannot keep my eyes open, reading puts me to sleep faster than a brewery popping up in Bellingham. Two, my mind has a hard time concentrating and seems to move in many different directions. So a lot of the time, I have to re-read a page because I was thinking of something else and have no idea what I just read and that gets annoying. And thirdly, I am lazy by nature, period. I don't want to spend time reading. So, you are probably wondering why do you bring this up?
I bring this up to share that I have hated reading in the past, but there are certain purposes to why I read often. My hope is that these three objectives will give you a desire to read more and often.
I don't know about you, but I have never been satisfied with where I am at in life. It could be sports, schooling, parenting, whatever but I have this insatiable desire to grow. I was never this way growing up, though. I hated spending time on something to get better at it. If I weren't good at it in the first place, I wouldn't even want to try. As I grew up though I realized that by reading more often I was giving myself an opportunity to grow.
Specifically, I wanted to grow more in love with Jesus. The books that I spend most of my time have to do something about Christianity. As I navigated, my relationship with Jesus I realized that a Christian is not passive but is called to be active. Our sovereign Creator uses means, like learning, to grow us and transform us. Once I figured out this reality, I realized that even though I dislike reading I needed to produce a habit of reading. I wanted to grow as a Christian. However, I didn't wish to grow as a Christian to gain a right standing before God; He sees me as perfect only because of Jesus' perfect life, death, burial, and resurrection.
I want God to continue to use the means of reading to grow my knowledge of Him in hopes that reading strengthens my relationship with my King.
I read to grow.
I am a forgetful person by nature. I wish I could remember things I learned years ago. But as everyone knows, if you don't use the thing you often discovered your mind tends to forget it all together. Our minds were created to remember things, but we tend to remember the things we interact with on a regular basis.
Therefore, because I forget often, I read to remember my identity as a Christian. As Christians, we are saved not by our quality of faith, or our quantity of faith but by who our faith is in, Jesus Christ. He is the object of our faith and because of that I read so I don't forget this great reality. I desire such theological clarity so that when my mind wanders or my world gets rocked by some unexpected incident, I want to be able to remember Who I have faith in, Jesus Christ the righteous one.
I read to remember.
3. Lead Others
Lastly, I read because I know I am called to be a leader. Now you might read this and say, yes but I am not a leader. I believe everyone is called to be a leader. Whether you are in college, young married, deacon, elder, church member, father, mother, you are called to be a leader in some capacity.
There are different levels of leadership I believe the Bible lays out pretty clearly. For example, husbands are to lead their wives and homes, the Apostle Paul was a leader of movements, And we are all called to be disciples of Jesus which implies we are to be leaders of self. I would put these into four different categories, the leader of self, leader of others, leader of organizations, and leader of movements. I think these groups gives enough handles to knowing what we're called to.
So in that regard, If you don't have a family, you certainly are still called to be a leader of yourself.
I read because I want to continue to keep my mind sharp and continue to grow in greater capacity to lead. I want to lead myself well; I want to lead my family well, and certainly I want to go in leading others well.
I read because I am a leader.
4. Where Do I Start?
If you are not a reader, the best practical advice I can give you is just to start reading. Even that information is hard just to start doing when you hate reading. Here is what I did when I began to try and read more, I started small and picked five books I wanted to read within a year (here is a list if you need help getting started, or ask a friend you trust what they would recommend). I would add all the book pages up and divide by 365 days (because that is how many days are in a year). This number would give me a great starting point to know how many pages per day I needed to read to get through my goal.
For example, you take five books that are 200 pages each, add them all up and you get a 1000 pages of reading. Divide that number by 365 days in a year and, voila!, you get 2.74 pages a day. That is how many pages you need to read a day to finish those five books.
By doing this, I gave myself a possible target when it came to reading. Meaning that I was no longer intimidated by reading any longer.
Reading is worth it, even if you find reading the worst.