by Mike Santoro
I’m drawing arrows in my Bible now. What a strange thing to say. And I’m not a kid, nor am I kidding. There are ten different arrows ready in my quiver, inside-the-front-jacket-of-my-Bible. And, drawing them in my Bible with my #2 pencil-bow draws me closer to God. It’s quite fun, and maybe you should try it too.
Do you want a simple, doable method for enhancing your daily Bible reading? Then try drawing some arrows as you read. It’s not as intense as journaling and it’s not as messy as underlining, circling, or writing notes in the margins (although I would recommend all of those too). But, while circles, underlines, stars, and boxes can all draw attention and signify some level of importance, without any other reflection step like adding notes, or journaling, then such limited use of your pencil-bow might fall short of its target. The target of course is intentional, focused reflection and meditation on God’s Word for the purpose of godliness.
Therefore, the 10 Arrows method provides you with perhaps a better means to reflect and meditate on what you are reading without going so far as journaling. Yes, reading God’s Word every day is essential, but even moreso, you need to reflect and meditate on what you are reading. Consider the words carefully. Slow down and treasure the words from the God of the Universe speaking to you. Love God’s Word and behold his glory. Enjoy its sweetness!
Here’s how it works:
- The 10 different arrows are signifiers. That is, they give additional clarity at a glance.
- The arrows point to, clarify, and categorize what you are reading.
- As you read a passage of text, think about which arrow applies primarily to the text. This exercise is a subtle form of meditation because it requires reflection and consideration when choosing an arrow.
- Draw the arrow in the margin next to the verse or paragraph as a signifier.
- If more than one arrow applies to the same text, don’t worry, you can draw multiple arrows. Often more arrows equals better meditation. But typically you will find that there is one arrow that primarily applies to a given verse or section of text.
- Look back on and review the passage later through the direction of your arrows and you will find them aptly pointing you towards a deeper, clearer, and faster understanding of the text. Such clarity and direction will encourage you to study the text further now that you are already pointed in the right direction.
And the best part is, it’s simple and easy to implement today!
The 10 Arrows – A simple way to meditate on God’s word as you read
- Truth about God’s Character
- Truth about Man (and the flesh)
- Truth about the World (sin in the world)
- Truth about what God did in History
- Command for me to do
- Change how I should relate to people
- How I should Pray or Praise God
- A Promise from God
- Prophecy from God about the Future
- Warning (stop doing, woe, or call to repent)
So read your Bible everyday, Yes! Underline verses, Yes! Circle words and truths, Yes, Yes! Write many notes in the margins, emphatically Yes! But also…try drawing arrows in your Bible to draw you in to what you’re reading.
“And never forget the stunning fact that the Bible is the word of God…Never, never, never stop being amazed that the Bible is the communication of the Creator of the Universe…And best of all, it is through the word that God himself comes to us and shows himself to us (1 Sam 3:21).” – John Piper
Note: This Meditation Method was inspired by a Bible study method originally created by Donny Mathis and Matt Rogers called “The Seven Arrows” which is applied differently for the purpose of deeper study and biblical interpretation, rather than only meditation emphasized in this article. See the original “Seven Arrows” method here: sevenarrowsbible.com
Mike Santoro is a 7-year member and youth leader at Living Hope Church. He and his wife, Rachel, have three children.