After I published the second video in the series, “Renew Your Awe,” a friend commented and asked, “Perhaps you would consider a video of HOW to focus on God when spending time alone with Him. I struggle with distractions during devotion time.” Well, Suzanne, you are not alone! All of us struggle with distractions from time to time (or more often than not).
The opposite of “distracted” is “focused.” But just telling yourself, “be focused!” pretty much never works. What does work is reading with a purpose. Instead of skimming along as you go through a passage, interact with it by asking yourself, “How would I categorize this verse?”
For the past 30 years or so, I’ve been color-coding my Inductive Study Bible. Back when I bought it, I was excited by the wide margins, because I love writing notes in my Bible. But after reading Kay Arthur’s preface and seeing her use of colors and symbols, a whole new world opened up for me. I sat down and wrote eight colors along the left edge of a sheet of paper (blue, red, yellow, orange, green, purple, brown and black), and then wrote on the write side what I wanted each color to “mean.”
The beauty of color-coding your Bible is that not only does it focus your attention on your study time, but it also allows you to know at a glance what a verse or a passage is about. And as a bonus, you’ll find that over time, patterns emerge as you suddenly notice the frequency with which two colors appear together (watch the video below if you want to see two examples of that).
I’m adding an image of my color-coding chart below, but I’m also planning to talk to my webhosting service in the next day or two to get help on posting a downloadable PDF. It should be easy … but no. I haven’t found that “easy” button yet. 🙂
I’d love to hear your experience if you choose to start color-coding!