The Story Behind “100 Days of Scriptures”
Since starting 100 Days of Scriptures, several people have asked me about it. Now that it’s come to an end, I’d like to share its story, the process, lessons learned, and the effect its had on me.
It was July, and I was in search for a side project, but not “just another side project.” I wanted it to be challenging, personal and close to my heart.
- I’m a web developer, and I love design.
- I’m a Believer, and I love the Scriptures.
If I could find a unique way to intersect design with the Scriptures, and showcase it on the web, it would fit within the scope of what I was looking for.
I want the things I do to have purpose, meaning and significance. The older I get, the more I realize the importance of words like “deliberation,” intent,” and “motive.” I wanted this project to encompass them. I wanted 100 Days of Scriptures to:
- Magnify God and His words.
- Bring to life, accentuate, and provide a unique perspective on the Scriptures and message behind each verse or passage.
- Encourage and uplift those that could use a Spiritual boost from the Scriptures.
- Bring to light God‘s love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, etc.
- Offset the skewed perception of those that only know/see God by His judgment and wrath.
- Help people, particularly Christians, see the importance of design and the impact that good design can have.
Expectations and Specifics
I set some realistic expectations for myself before getting into the project. I wanted it to:
- Be a challenge, but not be something that would steal chunks of time away from my day, especially from family and sleep.
- Require commitment, but not something that would burn me out or want me to bail before finishing.
- Be more a “want to” than a “need to“—if I was going to spend a significant amount of time and effort, I wanted to enjoy it, not resent it.
I enjoy designing, and appreciate good design and typography, but I’m not a great designer (I’m more of a developer, anyway). I chose code and typefaces as my medium and the web as my platform so the project felt closer to home.
I came across The 100 Day Project, a collaboration by Elle Luna and The Great Discontent, earlier this year and thought 100 days would be a good span of time.
That’s when I decided, “1 verse/passage of Scripture, every day, for 100 days.”
- A different passage/verse of Scripture for each day.
- A different design for each day.
- Typefaces from Google Fonts.
- No images—only code.
I spent the next few days building my local development environment and the front-end architecture of the site. I wanted each day to look consistent but be modular to allow for custom designs.
With 66 books, 1,189 chapters, and 31,102 verses in the Bible, surely I could come up with 100 verses/passages. I gave myself a head start by making a list of 25 of my favorite parts of Scripture. I even asked my friends on Facebook for their favorites (I ended up ditching their suggestions—I explain why later).
100 unique designs!? If I know anything about design, it‘s that anything worthwhile takes time. But I had already committed and began the work, so I put aside my excuses and gave myself some breathing room by creating a few designs ahead of time.
100 109 Days
I launched 100 Days of Scriptures on my 30th birthday. In spite of the fact that I was done with my 20’s, I was excited for day 1 and the 99 days that remained. The designs I had created as a buffer didn’t last long. By the end of the first week, I was all caught up and designing something new each day.
Coding and shipping a new design every day is rewarding, but tough. I didn’t have a strict process for creating each design; instead, I went with the flow. Sometimes design ideas came naturally, while other times I had to work at coming up with them. I also let the time I spent on each design be loose. Some evenings (more than not), my pillow called my name, and I was eager to get the design out the door and in bed. Then there were other evenings where I was in the zone and willing to experiment, and when I was done, I had invested 3–4 hours. However, after I had delivered a design, done was done. I didn’t invest more time the next day adjusting and perfecting yesterday’s design—it was hands off and on to the next day.
In total, I missed 9 days so far due to travel, sickness, sleepiness and personal reasons. I made up for those days, which extends the length of the project to 109 days. My longest streak was 41 days.
Other fun facts:
- Average time designing and coding per day: 1.5 hours
- Longest day: Day 26 at 4 hours (Day 36 comes in 2nd at 3.5 hours)
- Shortest day: Day 38 at 30 minutes
- Favorite day: Day 71
- Favorite font: Playfair Display (Used 6 times)
- Favorite verse: Proverbs 16:3, Day 100
Design comes less naturally to me, which required me to flex muscles I don’t flex as often to deliver a design every day. Looking back, I am proud of some of the designs, but there are plenty I wish I could refine or nuke and redo. However, the project was less about design, typography and CSS, and more about character, intent, discipline and execution. I’m thrilled I went the distance and crossed the finish line.
I hoped this project would be an encouragement and inspiration to others, but as time went by, I began realizing that the person that needed this project most was me. I embraced that notion and made adjustments to how I approached each day. I ditched my friends’ Scripture suggestions and began searching the Scriptures on my own every day.
This one, intentional move had the greatest effect on me. The project became personal on a new level. It was now ministering to me and helped me be more personal and intentional in my relationship with Christ.
It’s been amazing to couple my God-given gifts and passion with God’s Word to package them up into this project. I’m not a pastor or a missionary, but I am a developer/designer. I believe design, the web and efforts like this can help communicate the truth behind the Scriptures and the Gospel, and 100 Days of Scriptures was one way I could contribute to eternal things.
To those who have followed 100 Days of Scriptures by visiting the site or following my posts on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, or took the time to drop me encouraging words in person, email or social…
Unfortunately, I have no plans to extend it past 100 days, but to cap it off in a positive way, I’ve open sourced it on Github.
I enjoyed and benefited much from it, but almost 200 hours is an investment, and I’m ready to invest my time into something else. I have considered bringing it to life in print (posters, maybe a book?), but I’m unsure—It was designed for the web, and putting it into print isn’t as easy as copy-and-paste. If you have any thoughts or input, feel free to reach out, or follow me on Twitter @jonsuh if you want to stay in the loop.