I started riding my exercise bike again recently (within the past 3-4 weeks). It has been a while since I consistently rode due to some pinched nerve, work, and laziness issues :)
When I first started riding it again, I set the starting level of exercise at "3" because I knew that would be a good starting point, and the time at 30 minutes (20 minimum is always recommended for good cardio). That first day, I was only able to ride 7.7 miles in 30 minutes. Good start...but way off of my norm.
Last week, I moved the starting level up to a "4" and the first day, my new length was 8.4 miles. Not too bad, but still not where I wanted to be. I am not quite ready to move up to "5" just yet, but will try to do so soon.
The interesting thing that I noticed the past few days, though, is that every day, I have been very consistent in the amount of miles that I have ridden. Some days I feel like I am "punching it", and then some days, I am struggling to spin the pedals. Regardless, the mileage has been a constant 8.77 miles. I never look at the stats until I finish my work out, so there is nothing that is giving me a push to speed up, or slow down.
Want to know something more interesting than that?
Last year, I made a commitment to read the entire Bible in a year. In order to do that, the software that I use broke it down into a simple timeline. I needed to read 3-4 chapters per day in order to complete the Bible by 12/31. Started out very well. I got ahead a few days here and there because I knew there would be days that I couldn't read as much, if at all due to schedule conflicts (and excuses). I went almost two months last year without flipping a page (electronically) when I was going through some personal challenges. When I picked back up in reading, it felt like I had no way to catch up.
Each time I had a chance, I would read a little extra, and finally, around September of last year, I "caught up" with where I was supposed to be. But, I had found a new pace. It seemed as if I couldn't slow down my pace the next day...then the next day...then the next day. I actually ended up completing the goal of reading the entire Bible by November 10 last year, which gave me a chance to read through the New Testament once again by 12/31.
This year, I made that same commitment; however, I chose to set my goal to read the entire "exact" chronological reading plan in a different translation in completion by September 30 as opposed to December 31, in which I will have a few months to read and study the New Testament in the remaining time.
With the pace coming off of last year, I felt there would be no problem in achieving this goal as it would take about 6-8 chapters per day according to the software that I use. If you have ever read chronologically, you will understand that some days is much more, some days much less as you move around a lot in certain areas of text.
As of this morning, statistically, I should be at 25% completed. Doing some simple math, and pinpointing where I actually am at this morning shows just over 43%.
Habit changes a lot of things in life. Consistency changes many things in life. We all have to choose what we do with our time and our hearts each and every day. Through some very simple changes in mine, I have found a new "pace" in reading and studying God's word, much like I have continued to improve pace riding the exercise bike. I haven't really changed much in the riding part, but each day, the riding continues to be much more consistent, and the distance longer.
Reading 3-4 chapters a day will accomplish a task that many people will never take on in reading the Bible because they don't feel that they can. I was once there. "I don't have enough time", "I don't like to read a lot", "It's too hard to drudge through some of the Old Testament text to read consistently". These are not excuses I have heard....they are excuses that I have used.
I know that this blog is not a "scriptural" posting so to speak; however, it is a reflection of what scripture is doing in my life. It is not intended to be a boasting point on reading, and certainly not in riding - I can do much better :) It is intended to be an encouragement to those that will take up the goal...and read the Bible completely through.
My challenge to you is this....there is still time to set a goal to read the Bible completely this year. There are more than 9 months remaining and that calculates roughly to 5 chapters a day. Will you set a goal to do this? You can accomplish it! You will be enriched by doing such. Why not give it a try!
Here is a sample schedule that I found on the internet that completes in about 9 months if you would like to use one.
God bless, and happy reading...and riding!