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STOIC POETRY | Reading the Bible every day

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

Waking up early is a very good use of time; for it reminds us soon that we are still alive and provides an opportunity to bring in a full day's harvest before we've even had our breakfast. With just a few nights of practice, our own mind will become trained to gently nudge consciousness from sleep, even before the alarm by the bedside can sound, and we lift our heads with some satisfaction that our instinct is then more keenly tuned than our watch to the clockwork machinations of heaven and earth.

The first thing I do each day is read a chapter of my Bible. As, though I am a non-believer, I find the book interesting; like a glimpse down some long corridor of history and imagination to witness the stories, ideas and beliefs of the people who helped to lay the foundation stones of my own culture and traditions. Also, reading the Bible does inform my other reading; as I am most fond of nineteenth-century literature, which genre frequently references Bible quotes and concepts. Such delight to recognize a favorite author's own Bible journey in the course of their writing, such as the following quote from Thoreau:

What is man but a thawing mass of clay?

And so, I will rise every day before my family, before my neighbors perhaps, and before the sun even. I will then pad softly through the darkness to my desk and open my Bible, to read under the soft incandescence of a single bulb. I'll read one chapter a day, every day, as I've done for so many years; another step in my lifetime's march through and around, and around, and around again, the Bible; moving at a standard rate of one orbit of God's story every three and a quarter years. Such a good use of time. Though the effort may never gain me heaven, and only a lifetime of purposeful and deeply satisfying mortal joy.

Reading the Bible every day then, is indeed a very good use of my time.


My name is Kurt Bell.

You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.

Be safe... But not too safe.

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