Normally when I borrow a book from the library I try to respect the book, this is just so good that I find myself folding the tiniest corner of a page down so I can come back to a section either because it’s quite funny, or more often because it’s quite insightful. . . .
Take for example page 98. A.J. visits an “Atheist Meeting” at a Greek cafe in New York. Remember A.J. (the author) is a self-proclaimed agnostic who took on this project to see what he could learn (and because he had a book deal, no doubt) His observation when leaving the meeting was this, “It’s hard to be passionate about a lack of belief” Which begs the question, “Am I passionate about my belief?”
Or page 122. A.J., in following Ecclesiastes 9:8 (Let your garments be always white), wears all white. He says, “But the thing is, I’m enjoying it (wearing all white). My white wardrobe makes me feel lighter, more spiritual. Happier. It’s further proof of a major theme of this year: The outer affects the inner.” I think this is such a profound statement. . . and so true I’m finding (as a new mom) that it takes just a bit more energy to look cute, as it does to just put on an old sweatshirt and sweats. The thing is, I feel better about myself, my home, my life when I have a cute pair of jeans and top on, and I wear real shoes, not my slippers. . . The outer affecting the inner.
And then there is page 220, this I thought was rather profound, and challenging, and quite frankly a pretty keen insight, that I’m not sure I’ve heard “preached” at many churches, so all the more insightful from an agnostic. He writes in the preceding paragraph about “Praise the Lord”, and how uncomfortable it makes him feel to say that. (even though he is commanded to, and does) He said he thought it was sort of “over the top” “I’m used to understatements and hedging and irony. And why would God need to be praised in the first place? God shouldn’t be insecure. He’s the ultimate being.”
Now this is the part I thought, WOW. .
“Now I can sort of see why. It’s not for him. It’s for us. It takes you out of yourself and your prideful little brain.”
A great read.