I was clicking through Alice’s links again. I should not do this.
I inevitably compare my blog to the likes of Beth Moore and James MacDonald. Both of whom have fancy-schmancy blogs, and while I know they are famous Christians, I am not sure exactly for what.
I mean, I know books and stuff, but as my reading addiction lends itself to Paul Johnston, Lee Child, and JD Robb bloody/suspense/action/mystery novels, I’ve not personally experienced their literature.
(Except for my underwhelming take on the introduction of 12 Extraordinary Women that prompted my cousin Aaron to cyber-smack me upside the head. View the cyber-smacking here.)
Note: In the process of posting this, I have discovered 12 Extraordinary Women was written by John MacArthur, not James MacDonald, but I think this perfectly demonstrates my ignorance in Christian book writing/reading.
In college, the world’s best Communication Professor, Ms. Billie Sue Thompson (don’t let the down home name fool you. She’s one sharp cookie) told us there are two different kinds of reading. One kind will enrich you, teach you, and make you a better person. The other kind is junk food for your brain. She recommended we develop a strict 90/10 policy when it came to reading in our lives.
It was easy to follow this advice IN college, where reading textbooks is the key to surviving (or cheating, but let’s not go there). But, I have to say post-college; I’ve allowed my brain to gorge itself on the aforementioned books.
My brain is now a sluggish couch potato munching on whodunits like donuts.
My friend Joy is probably unaware of my aversion to all books that make me think about…well someone not mysteriously getting thrown under a car in a dark parking lot. Over the few years we've know each other, she's given me several books in the vein of actually learning something spiritual enriching.
Pre-Joy, I read a book about submission. It was written by a previous feminist who had discovered the joy of being domesticated. Her first name was Bunny. In spite of my love for the lagomorphs, I could not take a woman named Bunny writing a book about submission at all seriously.
I laughed my head off. Seriously. I was home on a semester break, and Mom had to check on me to make sure I wouldn’t swallow my tongue.
However, Pastor’s endless plugging of spiritual-type books from the pulpit (I don't expect him to plug Jack Reacher or anything), and the dawning realization that I have failed to heed my favorite professor’s sage advice, have prompted me to enter the Christian self-help, mucky-muck about spiritual topics, reading hullabaloo!
This is not to say that Angelic and Demonic Influence on the Field of Missions, Especially in Africa Where It Gets Very Dark at Night will be the first book I reach for in that perfect hour I have for reading before bed.
I’ll probably still reach for Odd Thomas or Silent Joe (those are book titles, by the way, and not strange men hanging out in my room at night).
But, I’m giving the old college try to reading books that are not Starburst Jelly Beans (drool, Starburst Jelly Beans!) to my brain.
Thankfully, Joy has given me a book on modesty. (This is not a veiled insult, as I believe Joy thinks I am modest. I think, in all fairness, my puffy coat makes me the most modest person in the world). I already read the first chapter, and to my surprise it was quite good. Several reasons:
a.) The author’s name is not Bunny.
b.) I didn’t not fall asleep while reading (this happened with several tries at reading C.S. Lewis).
c.) I did not drift off into wondering what was on TV.
d.) There was nothing to send me in choking fit of rage or tongue-swallowing laughter (the bad kind).
e.) I understood the author’s point of view and have since felt like she is writing specifically to me.
By comparison, of course, if the book was Bad Luck and Trouble, I would have finished it an hour.
Still, I am looking forward to reading more. This is a promising first step for me!
Over the next few years, perhaps Joy and others who wish my spiritual well-being can throw a few healthy rutabagas in the Snickers salad of my reading life. I’ll welcome your recommendations.
Please don’t recommend anything snore-worthy. Anything with explosions or illustrations would be a good start. I have to start slowly, you know. You can only eat an elephant one piece at a time. (Not that you should EVER actually eat an elephant).
Note: Do not recommend Through Gates of Splendor. I read that book in high school and am still traumatized. Also not on the table are Joshua Harris books. At least not yet. I’m still trying to forgive him for I Kissed Dating Goodbye.
If you have a spiritual book that has touched your life, and after reading this post, think I could read and comprehend (two very different things, my friends). I’d love to hear them.
I’ll plan to post a review of my modesty book when I finish it.
In ten years.