Monday, May 28, 2007

girl meets GOD

I have finished another book. Literally just closed it and signed into blogger. This book is the story of a girl who grew up Jewish, became an Orthodox Jew and then converted to Christianity. It is the story of her journey using the seasons of the church calendar as the outline for the book.

This woman, Lauren Winner, is a deep thinker and avid reader. She does not seem to just decide things on a whim, she thinks through things methodically. It is amazing to see how God used her personality in her conversion story. I think sometimes people think they will have to become 'different' if they become a Christian. But, God takes who we are and makes Himself real to us.

I have many pages marked that I want to share and remember. I won't share them all-you read the book for yourself and find what God speaks to you through Lauren's journey. But, I do want to share a couple of things...

This comes from page 57, in the section of the journey entitled Advent...
"God is a novelist. He uses all sorts of literary devices: alliteration, assonance, rhyme, synecdoche, onomatopoeia. But of all these, His favorite is foreshadowing. And that is what God was doing...He was leaving traps, leaving clues, clues I could have seen had I been perceptive enough."
Isn't that the truth?! God doesn't just walk up to us one day and say "Hey, here I am, believe in Me." He works in us, through sunsets and friends and family and movies and books and on and on. And, then, one day, we see His footprints there.

The other thing I want to share is from page 143 in the section on Lent...
"Habit and obligation have both become bad words. That prayer becomes a habit must mean that it is impersonal, unfeeling, something of a rouse. If you do something because you are obligated to, it doesn't count, at least not as much as if you'd done it of your own free will; like the child who says thank you because his parents tell him to, it doesn't count. Sometimes, often, prayer feels that way to me, impersonal and unfeeling and not something I've chosen to do. I wish it felt inspired and on fire and like a real, love-conversation all the time, or even just more of the time. But what I am learning the more I sit with liturgy is that what I feel happening bears little relation to what is acutally happening. It is a great gift when God gives me a stirring, a feeling, a something-at-all in prayer. But work is being done whether I feel it or not. Sediment is being laid. Words of praise to God are becomeing the most basic words in my head. They are becoming the fallback words, drowning out advertising jingles and professors' lectures and sometimes even my own interior monologue."

Work is happening in prayer, whether we feel it or not. Habit is not a bad word.

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