When I was younger, I couldn’t comprehend how someone could use a highlighter in a Bible. When I saw the older people in my congregation writing in the margins, it baffled me to say the least. If someone had random papers pressed between the pages, it was GAME OVER.

Things have certainly changed since then.

As I study the Word, I find myself doing all of the things that used to confuse my “neat freak” self. While these things no longer bother ME, I feel the need to defend my newly-acquired habits to the kid I used to be.

I guess, at some point, I realized that growing in the Word is a lot like growing as a kid.

See, there’s a place in the door frame of my old house where I used to measure myself on a regular basis. In possibly the most inaccurate fashion, I would reach my hand above my head and etch a line to see how far it had moved from the previous line.

Each line became a nice reminder of how much I had grown, as well as the potential growth that awaited.

Looking at the marks and highlights in my Bible have helped me do the same thing. With the highlights, I can see which verses spoke to me most. With my scribbled margins I can track which verses have references in other books, or how they made me think at a certain point in time. With my circled words I can see the workings of a lesson preparation for my Youth Group.

Those church-goers whose”random papers” used to bug me? Pot, meet kettle.

It’s easy to stray down the wrong path. Sometimes we need a trail of bread crumbs.

Yes, pre-teen Buddy, there are Post-It notes sticking from many pages and index cards filed like bookmarks. These are reminders and references of things that I’ve considered important to me at some point during my walk. They look like a mess, but they guide me back to the places I need to be.

When I’m dragging beneath the “struggle bus,” I often look for a Post-It or index card to direct me to a page I’ve stumbled upon in past studies. The “random papers” have helped me mark places that could help in times of trial.

So, I guess what I’m saying is, I’m proud to be part of the Messy Bible Club.

Messy Bible Club: Always seeking new members.

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