I’m a big morning person, I love almost everything about the morning hours, whether it be the growing daylight, the perpetual stillness, or a steaming mug of coffee, I simply cannot go wrong getting up early. However, my morning routine (borrowed heavily from Michael Hyatt’s here) was too rigid and regimented, and I didn’t have room for creative freedom. Another problem: it was all analog. Old fashioned journal, bible, books, etc., the only digital part was playing music on my phone. This is not inherently bad, but when traveling or in a different setting, I needed to lug everything with me–not convenient.
So I scrapped it–all of it. I chopped it all apart and dove into my philosophy of a morning routine. What came out of this process was the essentials: my Bible and my journal and I converted to all digital (via Logos bible software for mobile and Evernote for the computer). The freedom in creativity I felt from the self-inflicted control of my old routine was amazing! I felt not only free, but also efficient and millennial doing it electronically. I stuck with it for 31 days.
Then I experienced a crucible moment. I needed to do some reflecting, praying, and reading the Scriptures to hear the heart of God and see where he was moving. So I whipped out my phone and began “flipping” through the Bible trying to remember what I had read, what had impacted me, and some notes from previous reflections. Nothing but a few highlighted texts here and there. Not helpful. So I pulled out my leather-bound Bible. What a difference! I could easily flip through the entire text, passages jumped off the pages, past notes and reflections were written in the margins, and post-it notes scattered throughout full of important words from the Lord I had received.
My soul felt at home in that moment. I quickly wrote these 3 lessons from reading the Bible digitally:
- The Bible is always with me. I can pull it out in line at Starbucks, waiting for a meeting to start at work, or on the Transit Bus. However, in reality I pull up Twitter or Instagram or Letterpress long before I think to open the scriptures. It is nice to quick look up a reference, but outside of that, reading the Bible did not become spontaneous for me.
- Highlighting verses is a breeze, synced across all devices, and searchable in-app. This is a huge plus, except when I want to flip between a passage in the Gospel of John and a cross-reference in 1 John. For me, I’m an underliner, not a highlighter, so I found it distracting. I understand that is my preference and not everyone agrees.
- You can takes notes, like writing in the margins, but they are not the same thing. Yes, you can search the notes. Yes, an indicator tells you of an available note in a passage. But it requires tapping it and seeing your note out of the context of the verses. I love underlining because I often summarize or synthesize my thoughts in the margin next to it. When I open up my leather-bound, it’s there, popping out, almost distracting me. When I open my Bible app, I see something is there, and it doesn’t distract me from the text, but it does not call to attention to the value it holds.
I understand these lessons are subjective and influenced by my preferences. But I would ask you: What have you experienced? What have you learned from reading the Bible digitally? What do you prefer?
Share your thoughts below!