I've been trying to work through an extremely tall stack of books lately In the past six months, I think I've completed one full book. And it was a novel. I've been in a season in my life where there has been little to no routine and I've not been able to focus on completing one book all the way through unless the book has been incredibly compelling. I've started at least twenty books in the past six months. That is probably a low estimate. I've tried theology, novels, historical, technical, inspirational, devotional; you name it. And so many friends have sent me books as we've weathered this storm with little Allie. I've even had an author send me his book to review here on this blog. Which I intend to do once I get back into the rhythm of reading like I used to.
Guys like Bob Franquiz and Dan Plourde challenge me. "Leaders are readers," Dan always says. So in 2008, I've resolved to finish each book I've started, first, to keep reading the writers that inspire, second, and third, to read in my field, that is missions.
One writer that inspires me is Philip Yancey. I've blogged about him plenty of times. I've even blogged about the book pictured above. I started reading this book back in May when we were in the middle of the crisis of my life. I think it was a good thing for me to read through it and process it slowly.
There is no better book on the subject of human suffering than Yancey's Where is God When it hurts. I've read C.S. Lewis' Problem of Pain, and it's good, don't get me wrong, but it's not as accessible or readable as Yancey's writing on the subject.
I have not read something by Yancey that didn't challenge or stretch the way I think about my Christianity. As I've worked through the worst crisis of my life, Yancey has helped me move my focus from myself to God and His plan. Basically, this book adjusted and corrected my thinking. God is working through more than just the moment I'm living in right now.
I think that's so critical--moving our focus from ourselves or "whatsthematter" to God. So critical, and so hard, sometimes. And it seems to me that the more I need to do that, the harder it is.
I'm glad to read your comment about C.S. Lewis's book; it took me back (*way* back!) to my freshman year in college, when I read "Mere Christianity" for the first time. I kept having to go back and re-read long passages, to the point that, by the time I finished the book, I figured I'd read it three times.
I always have piles of unread books at hand. I finally decided to be very intentional about what books I read, since finishing them is such a challenge! I now keep an ongoing list of books I'm interested in on a "wish list" on Amazon. (They're always on hand and you don't have to pay for them!)
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