Monday, December 31, 2007
This is one book that genuinely going beyond the surface of Christian spirituality. It easily made in to my list of favorite books. Some of the conversations between Mack (the hero of the story) and God stirs up thoughts and challenges the norm of religion. It is healing, challenging, questioning, encouraging and refreshing. We have nothing to offer to God but He offers everything to us, His children. God is not necessarily a noun, but a verb - the great 'I AM'. Here are some snippets of the conversations between Mack and God (Papa, Jesus and Sarayu):
"My life was not meant to be an example to copy. Being my follower is not trying to 'be like Jesus', it means for your independence to be killed. I came to give you life, real life, my life. We will come and live our life inside of you, so that you begin to see with our eyes, and hear with our ears, and touch with our hands, and think like we do. But we will never force that union on you. If you want to do your thing, have at it. Time is on our side."
"So many believe that it is love that grows, but it is the knowing that grows and love simply expands to contain it. Love is just the skin of knowing."
"I have been talking to you for a long time, but today was the first time you could hear it, and all those other times weren't a waste, either. Like little cracks in the wall, one at a time, but woven together they prepared you for today. You have to take the time to prepare the soil if you want it to embrace the seed."
"Put simply, these are tools (religion) that many use to prop us their illusions of security and control. People are afraid of uncertainty, afraid of the future. These institutions, these structures and ideologies, are all a vain effort to create some sense of certainty and security where there isn't any. Systems cannot provide you security, only I can."
"Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."
"Guilt will never help you find freedom in me. The best it can do is make you try harder to conform to some ethic on the outside. I am about the inside."
"Faith does not grow in the house of certainty."
"If I take away the consequences of people's choices, I destroy the possibility of love. Love that is forced is not love at all."
"It should be very freeing to know that you can offer us nothing, at least not anything that can add or take away from who we are..."
"Those who are afraid of freedom are those who cannot trust us to live in them. Trying to keep the law is actually a declaration of independence, a way of keeping control."
"My words are alive and dynamic - full of life and possibility; your's are dead, full of law and fear and judgment. That is why you won't find the word responsibility in the Scriptures."
"And beyond that, because I have not expectations, you never disappoint me."
"Mack, I don't want to be the first among your list of values; I want to be the center of everything."