I just finished "Rise and Shine" by Anna Quindlen this morning, and last week I finished (finally!) "A Year of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs. I think I'm about sick of New York City.
I always enjoy reading Anna Quindlen, and I did this time. The edition I bought is a Reader's Cirlce....so there are discussion questions in the back, and also an interview of the author. Quindlen said that the theme of this book was "the disconnect in modern American life between appearance and reality....how we've all come to believe that what looks good is good." I think she hit it spot on, and introduced me to a family of characters I fell in love with.
How do we find the blurred line between appearance and reality? In this book, a famous morning news show anchor and her sister deal with this question. We know when we're looking at famous people that we don't really know them. We know when we watch politicians that we aren't getting a dose of reality. They're telling us what they think we want to hear, selling what we'll buy. This is not surprising.
But what about the ways we blur the lines ourselves? We all work every day to appear a certain way, to make our homes appear a certain way, to persuade our children to appear a certain way, and on and on. We can get lost in the whole appearance thing without even noticing, we can buy our own sales pitch. And find ourselves one day wondering why we're doing what we're doing. Why we've spent so much of a life on something fake.
Of course, the Bible has something to say about it. First about giving air time to what others think: "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2...and for those of us who are believers, Paul has some words about what we do with our lives...."For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames." I Corinthians 3:11-15 It's not like your salvation is at stake here, it's just that you're missing out on what is available.
Is the stuff I'm working on, is the way I spend my days going to burn up? Am I being purposeful and intentional about what I'm doing? Do I know why I'm doing what I'm doing? What is my motivation? These are some nice light thoughts for the weekend.....