buechner's word a day to keep the demons at bay
because i am the christian living editor at christianbook.com i am constantly receiving galley or review copies of upcoming books. occasionally the titles excite me, such as my treasured adobe copy of donald miller's searching for God knows what or the forthcoming galley of mclaren's generous orthodoxy that i am eagerly awaiting. but most of the shit that slides across my desk is either trivial to the point of provoking laughter (for a sterling example see cat psalms) or yet another example of mass marketed spirituality (yes, stormie, i'm referring to you. what is it going to take for you to discover the power of prayer-filled silence?).
on account of the latter titles, truth be told...i don't much mind the trivial pursuits, it is always refreshing when a new book from one of my favorite writers finds a home on my desk. i am currently finding refreshment, which has been expressed both in belly laughs and the occasional lump in the throat, in frederick buechner's beyond words. by God's grace, buechner has been able to regularly speak words of life into the void of my heart. i thought i would share two entries of this excellent work with you. expect to hear more from him in the near future.
predestination is the theory that since God knows everything else, he must also know whether each one of us is going to end up in heaven or in hell, and therefore the die is cast before we even cast it.
theorizing about God this way is like an isosceles triangle trying to theorize the great pyramid of cheops into the two dimensions of the printed page.
the fact that i know you so well that i know what you're going to do before you do it does not mean that you are not free to do whatever you damn well please.
logic is only cigol spelled backwards.
...talk to yourself about your own life, about what you've done and what you've failed to do, and about who you are and who you wish you were and who the people you love are and the people you don't love too. talk to yourself about what matters most to you, because if you don't, you may forget what matters most to you.
even if you don't believe anyone is listening, at least you'll be listening.
believe somebody is listening. believe in miracles. that's what Jesus told the Father who asked him to heal his epileptic son. Jesus said, "all things are possible to him who believes." and the father spoke for all of us when he answered, "Lord, i do believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:14-29)...