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Love It or Leave It

I’m reexamining my life recently. Something I have had a lot of practice in over the years. I can diagnose and prescribe appropriate plans of actions like it’s nobody’s business, hyper self-aware and ubercritical as I am. What I am less good at is doing the things I determine I should do to improve my life, at least in a long-term, life-improving fashion. I mentioned Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love recently; I think it would have been more appropriately titled something like Love that Kicks You in the Rich White American Ass and Scatters Your Uselessly Hoarded Stuff to People Who Maybe Really Need It. Or else perhaps One of Those Books You’ll Love and Recommend to All Your Christian Friends and then Try to Forget About as Quickly as You Can. Not the sort of titles that sell books though, which would undercut the purpose of writing it I guess.

I am hesitant to pronounce anything I have gleaned or “figured out” from reflecting on this book, even in such a quasi-anonymous forum like this blog. Perhaps this one thing is pertinent though: “trying harder” to love God and live toward others in that light is preposterous. Renewed effort only covers up my own drastic shortcomings in the faith and spirituality department; it doesn’t fill the hole.

I opened the Bible this morning, the first time in months (years?) I haven’t done so just to follow along with something someone else was saying or writing. I didn’t get through much, maybe a chapter, but it’s a very different world in there when I read it as best I can as written, trying to leave aside all the things I have been spoon-fed about it, whether those things were genuinely helpful and offered as such or not. It was a simple experiment and hardly worth mentioning if I didn’t intend to continue it.

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