Friday, August 22, 2014

100 Book Project: Book #60 - The One I Spent a Month Reading

When I asked my students to assign me 100 books for this project, I specifically asked for no porn, no chemistry textbooks and no Bibles.

A former student wasn't there for this mandate saw fit to join the project by sending me his favorite book. When I  received the book (Thanks!!0 I flipped it to back cover and read that the books will revive my spirit and show me how to be fueled by God like never before.

  It sounded interesting, but nothing I needed to read urgently.

 I started this project going hard in January, reading up to 2 books a day and writing about them immediately.

"Fresh Air" waited patiently while I worked my way through "If I Stay" and "Mockingjay."

 This book waited while I rode a tidal wave of  inspiration from Book #50, got a puppy and broke my foot, cleaned the kid's rooms and moved furniture (with the broken foot, yes).

"Fresh Air" waited and waited and when I finally sat down to read it, I liked it right away. Ish. 

In real life I'm not cozy with protestant church going peoples so I was wary of this pastor man and read the first chapters very slowly, pen in hand, ready to question everything.

Ten pages into the book I knew I'd been given spiritual treasure, so I gave the book my intentional deliberate attention and tried to finish the book in one day (it's only 200 pages, that should be 3 hours, right?) but something happened.

This book disappeared.

 I wanted to finish it, I wanted to be DONE but I couldn't find it.

For two weeks I hunted high and low (under the bed, on the top of the closest) for this book but it was nowhere to be found. 

Unable to finish it, I was stuck meditating on what I'd already read.

Then when I stopped looking I found Fresh Air hiding in my computer bag, curled up with the keyboard. 

I read more of the book, put it down to make a sandwich and lost it again for a week, when it reappeared on top of the refrigerator.   

On my own I wouldn't have taken so long, but because this book MADE me read it slowly, I feel like I've had more time to reflect on the wisdom in these pages, and for that I'm thankful.

The part of the book that most deeply influenced my summer was the author's discussion of the Sabbath and the commandment to rest.  I felt like the author leaned over his protestant pulpit and reminded us of Psalm 46:10 -  "Be still and know I am God" -- then pointed at me in the back row,  fidgeting and looking at people's shoes and checking the ceiling for spiders and writing my next semester''s syllabus in my head --- "Many of us need to relearn how to slow down and come to a complete standstill." (172).

I took this book seriously, and spent the better part of August sitting still, waiting quietly and expectantly for blessings that always come.

39 books to go!!!