word on the goEveryday Life

The Bible is a collection of practical wisdom and of stories about God’s presence in the daily lives of many people. As a result, you might be surprised how easily Scripture applies to your own life.

There are many different ways that the Bible can speak to – and fit neatly within – your commitments, hobbies, interests, highs and lows.

St Paul said that God is with us in everything that we do, since it’s ‘in him that we live, and move, and exist.’ (Acts 17:28)

St Paul

Since God is with you from your morning shower to your evening meal –on the school run as well as in the supermarket - you can listen to him speak through Scripture anytime and anywhere. It doesn’t just have to be on Sunday!

The secret is to multi-task your way into the Bible. Pope Francis, for example, advises reading the Bible on the bus. ‘Everyone should carry a small Bible or pocket edition of the Gospels and should find at least a few minutes every day to read the word of God’.

Whether you have an early start or it’s already wine o’clock, there are lots of ways that you can put Scripture into your busy day. The range of available formats (such as pocket Bibles, audio downloads or apps for your smartphone) makes it easy to benefit from God’s word on the go. One very popular app is from Universalis.

And, since the Bible includes stories of people in a range of life situations, there’s something for everyone. Hebrews chapter 11 tells us that faith played a critical role in the lives of many biblical characters which includes

  • brothers who fell out (Cain and Abel),
  • a man who was close to God in old age (Enoch),
  • a family who survived a natural disaster (Noah),
  • a migrant (Abraham),
  • a woman who became a mother in old age (Sarah),
  • a father who died in peace (Isaac),
  • a young man who made a major life decision (Moses),
  • a prostitute who helped those in need (Rahab),

as well as many others who fought in wars, went to prison, or lived in extreme poverty.

Scripture is also a great source of practical advice. For example, there are reflections for those who’ve lost a loved one (Wisdom 3 and 4), travellers (Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 34:9-17), busy mums (Proverbs 31:10-31), couples considering marriage (1 Corinthians 12-13), and, in fact, for people at all stages of life (Titus 2:1-6).

Case Study: Jesus joins Oscar on his daily run

Oscar from Poland tried listening to Scripture while out on his daily run. He said: ‘I usually listen to audiobooks or podcasts when I exercise, so I thought this would be a great way of maybe improving my spiritual life.’

So how did he get on? ‘When I ran with the Bible’, he continued, ‘I found I had this contact with God throughout the day. Sometimes what would happen is I would finish the run, take a shower - and still be thinking about Scripture.’ Oscar’s top tip for others who might want to run with the Bible would be to use some headphones that cover the ears – enabling you to focus better on what you’re hearing.

 

Here are some other ideas on how you might connect the Bible with your daily life, experiences, responsibilities or interests:

Start with a prayer

God of everyday life,
be in my thoughts and in my deeds,
be in my heart and in my words;
from dawn to dusk
may I know the Scriptures
and walk in your path.
Amen.

As the Pope said, travelling on the bus, in the car or on a train are all perfect opportunities to spend some time with the Bible. However you choose to do it – reading, listening or watching a video – spending time with a Scripture verse, passage or story while on the move is a low-stress way of tuning in to God.

With a bit of creativity – and several large cardboard boxes – you could bring the story of Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the Whale or Daniel in the Lion’s Den to life in your living room. If you’re really pressed for time, there are even apps with Bible games that you could download to a phone or tablet – check out www.childrenbible.org.

The Psalms are a collection of heartfelt prayers for the whole range of life’s ups and downs. Cries from the heart to do with dealing with abandonment (Psalm 22), illness (Psalm 41), the struggles of old age (Psalm 71), sleepless nights (Psalm 77) or depression (Psalm 88) - they’re all there.

We spend many hours of our life at work, so we would be missing out if we think that the Bible has nothing to say about it. Scripture has plenty to say about life at work, whether that’s doing your work for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10.31), dealing with difficult colleagues (Matthew 5.38-44), appreciating the value of delegation (Exodus 18.13-26) or committing business plans to God (James 4.13-16).

Countless verses in Scripture encourage us to help those in need, whether they be hungry, thirsty, sick, poor, imprisoned or grieving.(e.g. Proverbs 14.31; Luke 3.11; Romans 12.15; 1 Timothy 2.1-2). Discover one a week and put it into action, by donating to a food bank, visiting a bereaved neighbour or saying a Rosary for those in need. Or reflect on social justice and action in this short discussion booklet and use this great Catholic poverty and justice Bible.

Scrubbing the bath, vacuuming the stairs or doing the ironing can be made a lot more meaningful by meditating on a verse or passage of Scripture as you go. Playing an audio reading of a section of the Bible as you go about the chores is a hands-free way to introduce a quick reflection into your day.

Why not take one reading a day for a week and reflect on your own approach to money?

  1. Work and wealth (Ecclesiasticus/Sirach 11.10-28);
  2. Proverbs about finance (Proverbs 10.411.24; 13.11,2215.1616.821.17; 22.7; 23.4-5; 28.27; 30.7-9);  
  3. Worrying about money (Matthew 6.24-34);
  4. Avoiding materialism (Luke 12.13-21);
  5. Managing in good times and bad (Philippians 4.11-13);
  6. Attitudes to money and wealth (1 Timothy 6.6-10; 17-19);
  7. God’s concern for the poor (James 2.1-9).

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