Don't you just love it when you are handed the gift of time for re-creation and your favorite way to enjoy it? I had a lovely day with no obligations, quite a blessing after a week of running hither, thither, and yon and staying out late, with another week of the same staring me in the face. The sun was shining beautifully on the cottage this morning, and after doing some much needed catching up on keeping things tidy I settled down in a sunbeam streaming across the couch with beautiful music playing, a lovely scented candle, and a book.
I have to admit, it probably wasn't the book I would have originally chosen. It had been passed to me by my parents, who have both read it. My dad can't stop talking about it. Pastors in the area have scheduled entire three-month sermon series around it. My boss raved about it. A local seminary even hosted a community discussion night around it. Everywhere I go, I run into it. And after reading the back and having so many people tell me how absolutely wonderful and potentially life-changing it is I decided that I didn't want to have anything to do with it and would wait for the hype to die down before I read it.
Perhaps this was a bit perverse of me. I'm not the kind to bow to pressure about what to read - usually. For heaven's sake, my other current book option is an obscure English book about the changes in a town as it moves from being a collection of homes to being a real town! Do I really want to read a supremely popular book in the height of it's popularity that includes a healthy dose of absolute, gut-wrenching tragedy and the potential to change my life? I'm reading to relax, here. I'd given a half-hearted reading to the first two chapters so that I wouldn't be lying when people asked if I was reading it yet. But today I took the plunge. I picked up that copy of The Shack that was sitting reproachfully on the table and I read it.
I will admit that it struck a nerve, and will probably change some of the way I see my life and my relationship with God as I move forward and continue to digest the things I read. I see the potential for this to touch so many more lives than most people imagine. It is the opposite of so many things I was expecting from the hype, and that is a very good thing. Will I push people to read it? Perhaps. I know that it has reached deep into my own places of hurt, places where my relationship with God as I thought I knew it had been destroyed a long time ago. It holds an affirmation for me of my own healing, and I am sure it will hold the same for others.
Either way, it was a wonderful afternoon, and I pray that you have one that feeds you the same way soon.