It is slow in the office and I have managed to hide in my book and have just now finished it. The book is Through Painted Deserts, by Donald Miller. It is a simple book and I have enjoyed that about it. And now that I am done with it I am searching around for someone to talk to about it, but nobody is in the office. Let me share this passage with you. It is at the end of the book and it sums up what he, Don, has learned on this road trip across the country in an old VW bus.
I think I would sum it up this way: life is not a story about me, but it is being told to me, and I can be glad of that. I think that is the why of life and, in fact, the why of this ancient faith I am caught up in: to enjoy God. The stars were created to dazzle us, like a love letter; light itself is just a metaphor, something that exists outside of time, made up of what seems like nothing, infinite in its power, something that can be experienced but not understood, like God. Relationships between men and women indicate something of the nature of God—that He is relational, that He feels love and loss. It’s all metaphor, and the story is about us; it’s about all of us who God made, and God Himself, just enjoying each other. It strikes me how far the commercials are from this reality, how deadly they are, perhaps. Months ago I would have told you life was about doing, about jumping through religious hoops, about impressing other people, and my actions would have told you this is done by buying possessions or keeping a good image or going to church. I don’t believe that anymore. I think we are supposed to stand in deserts and marvel at how the sun rises. I think we are supposed to sleep in meadows and watch stars dart across space and time. I think we are supposed to love our friends and introduce people to the story, to the peaceful, calming why of life. I think life is spirituality.
I saw Donald Miller speak on Western’s campus last month and I can’t tell you how “empowering” (hey, the feminist shouldn’t be the only one’s allowed to use that word) it was to hear someone finally say something sane. Check out his books if you get a chance. He is young and a Christian and very funny.