Over the past couple of weeks I've talked with several people who find it difficult to maintain a consistent habit of daily Bible reading. There are many things I struggle with, but this is not one of them, so it seems proper to me to reveal my secret to staying regular.
The last time I ever missed a day of Bible reading was the day before Thanksgiving in 2002. This was the last day of a 2-week stay in the hospital. I remember lying in my hospital bed, heavily drugged and hooked up to IVs, and being too weak to reach over and pick up the Gideon Bible. This felt horrible, so I decided to be Cal Ripken and I marked this day as the last day that will ever pass without my Bible being read for as long as I live. Five years later the streak is still intact and to miss a day now would feel as unnatural as going a day without food.
Over the past few years the streak has kept me from pulling the "I don't have time today" excuse many times. Usually I don't have to struggle to find time to read my Bible any more than I have to struggle to find time to eat. Last I checked, everybody gets the same 24 hours allotted to them in a day (unless you're a pilot who is constantly traveling east), so the IDHTT excuse is really just an indicator of priorities. However, there are times when my priorities get shuffled and the IDHTT excuse does come up. At times like these I have to cheat, much like the story of how Cal Ripken had the stadium lights sabotaged so he wouldn't miss a game and could keep his streak intact. (This story turned out to be false, but since I believed it to be true at one time, it is still part of my story.) I cheat by keeping Bibles stashed everywhere -- I keep one in my car, one at work, one in each room in my apartment, and anywhere else I might be on a regular basis.
There's nothing particularly holy about pulling out your Bible and reading a quick chapter before midnight on the side of the road to keep your streak intact, but I know that whenever I've gotten out of the habit of something good it always starts with one day. I used to run every day and I had a similar streak going. But one day I didn't feel like it anymore so I stayed in. The next day I didn't feel like it either, and so on. Now the thought of running is repulsive to me. I know that the same thing can happen with Bible reading. I hear the stories of how people have slowly drifted away from the Word to the point where it's just no longer a part of their daily routine anymore. It all started with one day. This is why I suggest reading the Bible like Cal Ripken. Start a streak and preserve it at all costs.