Bit By Bit


There is an old story of how to get rid of an elephant in the room. The answer comes by taking the elephant out of the room one piece at a time. If we focus on the elephant (or task) at hand and the enormity of the job, it seems like an insurmountable task. It’s like looking at school and thinking about graduating from high school when we are starting first grade. Too big of a task. Too much information to accumulate. Too many tests. Too much studying. Too many books to read. Too many papers to write. It seems impossible if we look at the whole task ahead of us from the starting line.

But if we just focus on one day at a time, and keep that focus as each day occurs, eventually we will have graduated from high school and look at the coming adventure that is before us. College. Graduate school. Career. Marriage. Children. Etc. Life is a matter of taking one day at a time and completing the tasks of that day which will give us what we eventually want.

Fifty years ago in 1970, I was challenged by a pastor in Colorado as well as other members of that church to read through the Bible in a year, going from Genesis to Revelation. It seemed like a big task with over 1100 pages to digest in a year, but I took that challenge. Mind you, there were times when I went through Leviticus in looking at the ceremonies of the Israelite nation where I wondered if I would make it through the dry and boring material. I passed through the genealogies of name after name where I had trouble pronouncing each name (I actually didn’t and glossed over the material that I would never remember).

Today as I write this Jlog, I look back and think of the 50 times I have read the Bible from cover to cover and realize that reading a little bit every day, day after day, month after month, and year after year can accomplish something seemingly insurmountable. It seemed overwhelming when I had been doing this for awhile and heard a Sunday School teacher say that he had read the Bible thru for 40 years. I could never imagine doing that for myself when I had just read it 7-8 times. Insurmountable. Overwhelming. Impossible.

Jesus says in Matthew 6:34 “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for each day has enough troubles of it’s own.” He tells us to focus on one day at a time and tackle the tasks of that day. On this journey, I would encourage you to take up the challenge of reading the Bible on a daily basis, and maybe even looking at reading the Bible from cover to cover this coming year. Who knows if you might be able to eat the elephant bit by bit.

About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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2 Responses to Bit By Bit

  1. Jim, do you remember when you gave me that same challenge in counseling back in the 1990’s? I am still reading through the Bible every year also. Thanks for the challenge, it’s been a good journey!

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