Let me paint the picture here for you.
I just returned last night from being away for 2 weeks.
The mail has piled up, the washing machine is whirring with a constant hum, bills have got to be paid, the fridge is completely empty (well almost ...there are three carrots, some figs, fours eggs and a bag of parmesan cheese flakes...and a small apple juice drinking box for when I have little ones for company). So, there's a grocery run needed too. I've got errands to run and people to catch up with.
Now is not the time to start a new book.
But I love books, and one of the packages waiting for me was from my friend Ellen who's got this super book club going called Ellen's Picks. She sent me a book and over my coffee this morning, I thought I would crack it open.
Another important part of this story - a confession of sorts - I cracked it open expecting to thumb quickly through the pages and dismiss it.
They say you can never judge a book by it's cover, but I don't believe it. And I had judged this book rather harshly.
You see, I've never been a follower of the author - and the cover was her, sitting all lovely on a couch. It's a great pic but it played into my long-held bias. While I've respected what she had to say, she was someone I never normally gravitated too. People are always so over-the-top about her books, but they have never really struck me the same way.
If I being honest, I opened the first page with an air of judgement. But when I started to read, from the very first page, I knew I had it all wrong.
Here's the introductory poem:
"Faith is not clinging to a shrine
but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.
an impulse overwhelming the heart,
usurping the mind -
these are all a drive towards serving Him
who rings our hearts like a bell."
-Abraham Joshua Heschel & Samuel H Dresner in "I Asked for Wonder: A Spiritual Anthology"
She had me at "pilgrimage".
The first chapter is only 8 pages long and I finished it just now and sat down to write this post. I'm captivated.
Normally, we're to post a review of sorts for Ellen's Picks once we've finished the book, but if the first chapter is any indication of the rest of the book, I'd say it's worth the read.
In this first chapter, the author shares how one book, perfectly timed in her life starts a whole escapade to uncover where God was wanting to lead and use her for the next season of her life. I know the feeling. Countless times in my life, I've had a trajectory changing experience because of the words I've read.
For her, the book was asking her to state her dream and vision for the future.
This question has become increasingly important for me over the past few years. We could chalk it up to mid-life musings, but I have spent a lot of brain and heart space thinking about this very question, and for the first time since my life came tumbling down in my mid twenties, I feel like I know the answer - and it's invigorating!
Here's my vision and dream:
To help awaken others to the reality that God's love is better then they ever imagined and that it changes everything.
Call it what you want - the guide post, the point on the horizon, the target, my statement of intent, my mission statement - this is the filter I use to help guide my activities, prayers, and connections.
The author had a solid dream. Her dream was big and had been a guide for a long while. Her and her team had been faithful for decades to this sense of calling.
But now, she sensed her dream needed some audacity. And this is why she's come to write the book.
This sort of daring, longing, burning, boldness, drive and overwhelming impulse to follow where Love is leading is right up my alley. I've come to learn that it's the only thing really worth living for - that's why I've resonated with this chapter...because my dream feel audacious to me.
So I'm in.
I'll keep reading.
Thanks Beth Moore.