“Read this please.”
I had to do something very unpleasant the other day. Difficult. Disagreeable. Perplexing ~ and not in a good way.
The thing is, I received a packet in the mail a few days ago, from my former employer, with whom I still have a 401k. And, according to this packet, an annuity. That’s all I can tell you for sure. The packet is 24 pages long, and that’s really all I can tell you for sure.
See, I’m a bright girl, but as Scarlett O’Hara said, “When I’m wearing a new hat, all the figures I ever knew go right out of my head!” Except I don’t need a new hat. 401k’s, IRAs, stocks, bonds, annuities, mutual funds… I just can’t wrap my brain around that stuff. I mean, I can, but it takes a great deal of reading and re-reading, and poring over the words, and maybe looking up a definition or two. And I have to take notes so that I can remind myself what I learned, and I have to ask someone who knows more than I do, and then say things like, “Okay, let me make sure I understand this” and then repeat it back to them.
And I need illustrations with my explanations. ‘Cause to me, everything’s better with an illustration. “So, you’re saying that my budget is a hot dog, and this account is like mustard?” Or something brilliant like that. It comes easy to some people, but not to me.
So I talked to my mom, who knows about these things, and then I called the department in charge of sending the packet, and I asked them questions, and I took notes and I read through the packet before, during, and after…. and I found myself realizing that there are people who feel this way about the Bible. Confused. Overwhelmed. Not knowing where to begin, or how what I’m reading relates to what I think I know already.
The Bible can be very intimidating. It’s a formidable amount of information and wisdom, and it’s presented in so many different ways. 40 authors, 66 books dealing with past, present and future. I’ve been reading and studying it for a long time now, and it no longer frightens me, even though I know I still have a lot ~ a lot! ~ to learn. You just have to approach it the same way you approach anything daunting: by taking a step. And then another. And another.
Reading, comparing, asking, discussing, praying, re-reading, studying… The rewards are there. Understanding is not as far away as you think, but you gotta do your part. And don’t give up.