Here are two titles I am finding of interest that provide some thoughtful insight.
The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distractions by Adam S. McHugh
My initial approach to this book was a bit guarded: how much would this book have to offer beyond the typical ideas? I was pleasantly surprised. McHugh is an engaging writer with many years of experience in varied ministry contexts. He has a great sense of humor too (do NOT miss reading his footnotes as they are full of quips and funny side notes!). The further I got into the book the more nuggets I was gathering along the way. Before I knew it I had a bag full of wise and practical suggestions on being a more attentive presence to God, life, self, and others. I’ll be going back to reflect on several of these insights over time. It is worth the read.
The Radical Pursuit of Rest: Escaping the Productive Trap by John Koessler
I had seen this title in the past but again was skeptical of the typical over-spiritualization. A regular reader of this blog, David Lewis, emailed me with an encouraging review of the book. With David’s permission I submit his thoughts:
“I am about a third of the way through and loving it. I think you would, too.
Here are a couple of quotes to whet your appetite:
Rest is not an inner state that can be produced by thinking a certain way or placing ourselves in the right conditions. It is obtained only by entering into a relationship. When we find Christ, we find rest.
The Bible describes rest as both a destination and a gift…The secret to rest is not in
what we do so much as in how we see. Rest is both a location and an identity. It is a realm in which we exist. Rest is synonymous with grace…Rest is also synonymous with Christ.”
I was intrigued so bought the book myself. I read the first two chapters this past weekend and was delighted to see some solid theological musings on the subject of who rest is and not merely what I have to do to somehow obtain rest. There is great ill-health amidst the global Evangelical work ethic. This book looks like it will go a good ways to address some of those imbalances.
A Reminder to Myself
I am still tempted to approach books like these as “how to” manuals – how to make life work better, how to impress you more, how to deal with the messiness of my own life, how to…. When I do so, that which is central becomes periphery. Jesus, his life, death, resurrection, ascension and life in me is what is central. He is my life. My life is not doing better. I am sure these two authors would agree. With ourselves tethered to Christ, we can lean into helpful resources like these with proper perspective. There, now I am reminded.
I AM A BOOK LOVER! I love it when others send book ideas. Send more good reads my way anytime, please!