Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Yes readers, you'll be forgiven for thinking "isn't that obvious?!", but I'm afraid I have no more entertaining ideas for Blog titles at the moment, and that's the best i can do! Incidentally, I have had some deep profound thoughts today, but mostly inspired by this person.

I've been reading the first book he ever wrote, now called "Through Painted Deserts", a winding, conversational part biography, telling of the time he went on a road trip from Austin Texas to Portland Oregon with a friend in a rickety old Volkswagen van.

He's more famous (he would laugh at the use of that word I guess!) for his second book, Blue Like Jazz, which again slightly biographical, tells of his faith journey from his young teens to late twenties, and how his views and experience of God have evolved and broadened and become less and less religious, and more and more personal. The sub-title to the book is "non-religious thoughts on Christianity" and it is very apt, as the topics and discussions he recalls are anything but religious, bordering on the insanely funny and sarcastic and silly at times, and yet always deeply profound.

Anyway, here is what got me thinking today. Don and his friend Paul (who is far more laid back than him) have finally reached the Grand Canyon during part of their road trip, and decide to hike down to the bottom to camp overnight. The evening before they are due to leave, he ponders his life, sitting on a bench, and writes:

"...I was raised to believe that the wuality of a man's life would greatly increase, not with the gain of status or sucess, not by his heart's knowing romance, or by prosperity in industry or academia, but by his nearness to God. It confuses me that Christian living is not simpler. The gospel, the very good news, is simple, but this is the gate, the trailhead. Ironing out faithless creases is toilsome labour. God bestows three blessings on man: to feed him like birds, dress him like flowers, and befriend him as a confidant. Too many take the first two and neglect the last. Sooner or later you figure out life is constructed specifically and brilliantly to squeeze a man into association with the Owner of heaven..."

He writes again:

"...Life is a dance toward God, I begin to think. And the dance is not so grateful as we might want. While we glide and swing our practiced sway, God crowds our feet, bumps our toes, and scuffs our shoes. So we learn to dance with the One who made us. And it is a difficult dance to learn, because it's steps are foreign..."

Reading this really made me think today about my life and the way God has been working in it, and the idea that God delibertaely puts things "in our way", so to speak really grated on me at first. Then, I thought again about the times that I've known God the closest, and they've been the times that I've had to work out where he's going, because I hadn't a clue, I couldn't work it out myself, and I just had to follow.

So much of what Jesus said about the way we should live our daily lives, putting everything in his hands and just trusting Him to work it all out, is so foreign to me. I like to be forewarned, foreplanned and in control. I like to know what's going to happen before it does, and surprises generally aren't a good thing, no matter how well motivated. I need to learn to just sit back, and trust, and stop stressing and plotting and toiling, and just rest in God's plans for me. He will work His will for my life out, as I live it, and it's in the living of it that He will reveal Himself to me.

Just a thought that occured to me today, go and read his books, they're really good for making you ponder and think, and just slow down mentally and take things in, drink Truth up like it was a cool lemonade on a hot day, no fuss no hurry, just enjoying the moment. That's what I need to be doing every day when I spend time meditating on God and His Word, just try to dwell in each moment and stop striving to be something, when God wants me to be a someone.


  1. I'll definitely have to read that book. :)

    I finally decided on one called From Where We Stand by Deborah Tall. It's subtitled Recovering a Sense of Place. I found it randomly on the sale table at Books A Million in SC a few days after my boss had told me about 'sense of place,' something I never did end up finding in SC ... and never did end up reading all of the book though I got a few chapters in.

    I will have to recover a sense of place when I move ... so I hope to find some inspiration and profound thoughts here as well. :) Will let you know how it is.

    Set aside Deserts for me! lol

  2. And here I am reading blogs all day instead of books!

  3. I love the way you said "slow down mentally and take things in, drink Truth like it was a cool lemonade on a hot day, no fuss no hurry, just enjoying the moment." I totally think that God wants us to absorb his truth in that way - it's a daily, continuous process in which he is constantly updating us with more and more of his Truth. Such an awesome thought, I love it!!!