Have you ever come to a place in your thought life, where you felt like a maverick adventurer; going forward to places those around you had never been, nor ever thought of going? Or did you find yourself, with a bit of trepidation, thinking thoughts, toying with philosophies you had been trained were dangerously wrong, maybe evil? And you felt like you were all alone; yet, you had no choice but to press forward? Then, wonder of wonders, by chance, a book falls into your hands and in the pages you find much of your biography, your musings, attributed to a fictional character by some author halfway across the continent whom you have never met. At once you realize, with joy, that you are not alone. That is the kind of book I want to write. This has happened to me frequently enough in my life that I want to-not return the favor, but – pass it on.
I am two chapters in to a book by Brian D McLaren, The Story We Find Ourselves In. I am finding myself in this book. I hope to go on finding myself the rest of my life. Sometime around Christmas a good friend and confidant gave me a copy of McLaren’s, A New Kind of Christian, which I thoroughly devoured and passed on to another friend. While ordering an additional copy to keep on hand, I decided to order the sequel also. I must admit, I am not a fan of sequels. I could have been perfectly content after the first Pirates of the Caribbean, or the first National Treasure. But this second in the series by McLaren? This is a page turner for me. I am not alone. I have never been alone, just tardy. I am behind the pack, somewhat due to my own late blooming characteristic, and much to the fault of those who dutifully discipled me with harangue and shame. I am an adult now, and it is time for me to mentor others and encourage them along. Many writers and scholars are ahead of me-but as fast as I read and think, I should catch them soon- even while going back to rescue breathe for others who are languishing like I was. Someday, we can all party together.
Here are some books that changed my life: 1) The Robe, by Lloyd C. Douglas; 2) Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, The Great Divorce, Surprised By Joy – all by C.S. Lewis; 3) A New Kind of Christian and The Story We Find Ourselves In, by Brian McLaren.
What books have changed your life? Blown off the ceiling for your dreams and philosophies?