I want to share something with you that made an outsized impact on my life last year. For me, 2017 was full of change and new circumstances. In the midst of all of that instability, I noticed that I placing my hope for happiness in the wrong places.
Self-awareness is a beautiful thing, but at first blush, it’s a challenging reality to encounter. I didn’t believe that I was looking for happiness in the wrong places, but alas, I was.
Sometime in late Summer, Alison and I had reached the point that we had been planning for our entire marriage. The table was set just how we had planned, but I still felt something was missing.
As I shaped my new daily routine, I downloaded the YouVersion app, everything changed.YouVersion is a free Bible app
. It has hundreds of translations, including a Catholic translation, the New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE).
Naturally, YouVersion has the entire Bible, right there in the app, but the way in which it makes Scripture accessible is a game changer.
There is a verse of the day. A short passage that I read in the morning, and carry with me throughout the day. I like that feature. In fact, you can even set up a notification so that YouVersion can push you the verse of the day.
But there’s another aspect of the app that truly revolutionized both my prayer life and my personal life.
YouVersion has thousands of reading plans. These plans are crafted around a theme, which could be a holiday, emotion, circumstance, or even just a word. Each day, and the plans can last from a few days to a few weeks, has a devotional. The devotional is then paired with passages from the Bible that relate to the day’s theme in the reading plan.
The combination of the daily verse and the reading plans exposed me to the personal power and impact of Scripture. The Bible was no longer a book or passages that I hear at Mass on Sunday. Now, it’s specifically applicable to my life. I can complete a reading plan about finding happiness, for example, and hear what God wants to tell me about that topic.
I took this opening up of Scripture to another level by better preparing for Mass on Sunday. I’m using Mark Hart’s Ascend book to study the Readings on Saturday afternoons. Mark does a great job of providing context to the Readings in the form of historical background and other fun facts. I now find myself joyfully getting ready for Mass on Sunday morning.
The most impactful thing that happened to me in 2017 was opening the Bible and letting God speak directly to me through it. Let it have the same impact on you this year.