Nothing is exempt.
For example, here is a picture of my Bible that was brand new when I came to Haiti less than 4 years ago--
Looks like I have really been knee-deep in the Word, doesn't it? I mean I've only worn through one other Bible since I truly started walking with God in the 15 years prior to buying this one. I must be going through the Bible at a break-neck pace!
Unfortunately, it's embarrassing to admit that my 3.5 years on "the mission field" (whatever that means) have been marked by the LEAST Bible reading/prayer/fasting/God-seeking, etc. than any others that I spent before I was a "professional Christian." And I don't think I am alone. Many people I know (who are legitimately inspired by their faith in Jesus) enter ministry with great fervor and dedication to the disciplines that make faith grow. But for whatever reason, it's after making great leaps of faith that their disciplines seem to slack off.
And our lifestyle seems to support this lack, because to other people, we're missionaries-- aka Super Christians. And so it appears that we're steeped in all things spiritual when, in fact, we're relying on our former experiences to ride us through. Well, at least I am guilty of that. (I really shouldn't paint with such broad strokes when talking about other missionaries.)
And because my Bible ages in Haiti years instead of actual years, it's even easy to trick myself into thinking that it's all good. Sure, I didn't get to "my quiet time" today (or even this past week, come to think of it), but it's all good because I am a professional Christian. I mean come on, look how worn my Bible is. I have obviously been putting in the time.
But now I am at this point where I feel like the things I've learned can't hold me anymore. The things I've studied aren't enough to keep me growing. Opposition and pain aren't being tempered by new insights brought to me by a living Word that's alive and active, because let's just be honest, I haven't really consulted it much lately.
So here's to 2013. Here's to a year of spending less time wallowing in my own difficulties feeling helpless. And here's to a year of spending more time in the Bible, more time in prayer and fasting. More time given in devoted discipline to the God who brought me where I am today, in the HOPE that he will bring me even father.
It is my goal to wear through a Bible *legitimately* this year, and not just rely on my harsh environment to do it for me.
Who is in it with me?