Sunday, July 10, 2005
One of the many books that filled my cabin time...
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality
By Donald Miller
Similar to Anne Lamotte's Travelling Mercies (a book that greatly impacted my understanding of faith), Blue Like Jazz is Donald Miller's written thoughts on life, faith, relationships, and culture. I identified so much with his frustrations with some aspects of fundamentalism, and the republican-supporting churches in his background, his desire to be authentic, and the honest perceptions of his own inconsistencies.
I was convicted and frustrated with myself as I read his words and saw my own selfishness described on the pages. Having a very similar church background, and going through some of the same changes in my though patterns and values, I was expecting to be annoyed with his overly wordy, liberal, Bush-bashing rantings and immature cynicism. I feel some of the same frustrations with the governement, with war, with Christians who blindly vote for one party, who would like to saint George Bush (he is only human), who think that the church exists to wipe out homosexuals and liberals. Yet I get tired of hearing people go on and on about those frustrations too.
After reading the first chapter, I was expecting the whole book to be just that. Cynical rantings and immature criticisms of the church without any personal introspection.
But it wasn't that.
After expressing his thoughts...he came to the conclusion that I have to face as well.
"I am the problem."
"More than my questions about the efficacy of social action were my questions about my own motives. Do I want social justice for the oppressed, or do I just want to be known as a socially active person?"
Am i really interested in meeting the needs of people around me? Am I doing that? Or am I just talking about it, and criticizing the church for not doing it?
His deep longing for real connection with God confronted me with my own self sufficiency. Lately I haven't been really longing for God. I sometimes don't need Him. I mean, I do. But I don't recognize my need. I just sometimes think I'm bored, or lonely, misunderstood, empty, and I do something to feel better- like read, or eat, or excercise, or BLOG!!
I don't go to my Maker who already knows my emptiness and longs to fill it.
I did learn alot about myself reading this book. But now I'm reading another recently written memoir, "Girl Meets God" and find it even more provoking. The author is so full of depth. I could just keep reading and reading her thoughts--while "Blue Like Jazz" kindof just seemed to go on and on.
more of my thoughts on books I'm reading