The best way to read a book is one page at a time. Sure, if you’ve been through grad school or seminary or a PhD in the humanities, you know there are many different ways to read. But if you want to read a good book with an intricate plotline and a meaningful ending, the best way to read that book is one page at a time.
This is also the best way to live life.
Every one of us, to some degree or another, is a planner. We want to know what our future days and weeks and years will hold, what’s written in what we hope are the many chapters to come.
But we can’t plan everything, and we can’t know everything.
Yet still we try. We try to read deep into the future, constantly jumping ahead and spot-checking to see if we can tell how things are going to turn out. We worry ourselves sick wondering how certain threads will come together, demanding to know how particular challenges will be resolved, investing so much time and energy squinting into the blank pages that lie ahead.
But God would not have Christians live our stories this way. What’s written is written—even though it’s written in invisible ink—and it’s written by a good Author, with a good plan, who punctuates each sentence with grace.
So don’t rush the book of your life. The Author has a plan, architected before time began. The current chapter is not the only chapter, but it’s the one he means for you to read and live and embrace right now. And the rest of the chapters will fit the greater story, even if you can’t tell how yet.
So be done with mental page-flipping, and chapter-hopping, and rushing the narrative. Be done with skipping the hard parts to get to the good parts. Turn off the fan of anxiety that’s always trying to blow the pages forward.
Instead, keep reading, and living, and walking, and wrestling, and trusting, and rejoicing, and moving forward one page at a time—whether you’re dancing through paragraph after paragraph or dreading every next word.
It’s not always an easy way to read. But it’s the best way, and ultimately the only way, to read the story God’s writing.