Sunday, July 10, 2005

One of the many books that filled my cabin time...


Just finished
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

3 comments:

ANTI-ONION SOCIETY said...

Ang,
I have had this book(blue like jazz) for several months, and honestly, could not get past the first chapter. The way he writes is actually very similar to the way jazz flows...you either love the rythm or find it intensely aggravating. Maybe I was just unable to get into his rythm/style of writing..your entry makes me think I may want to try again..
But not until after Pride&Prejudice!
I hope your cabin time was refreshing..love you!

Ang said...

Yeah..
I kindof just read it to read it because I've been wanting to for a while and finally got a copy, and to get what I could from it. His writing definately doesn't draw you in and compell you to keep going--at least it doesn't me. And like I said--it sortof just goes on and on. He could stand to be more concise--sometimes memoirs seem that way to me..like the author is just rambling about themselves for far too long. It did speak to a lot of my own thoughts and struggles, but it was not one of my summer favorites. What I really think you should read instead is "Girl Meets God" by Lauren F. Winner...after Pride and Prejudice of course.

rob peoples said...

i find that blue like jazz is best taken like a new cd for the first time. (or at least the way that i listent to a new cd for the first time)

put it on random. and when you find a chapter that you like dwell on it for a bit, maybe read it again.

i started with chapter 12, and 12 agian, then 1, then 5, then 2. and 2 again and again and again. then i lent to book out to somebody

i wanted the thought of chapter 2 to stick with me though. i am the problem.