Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Will of God as a Way of Life

"How wonderful it is, then, when faith gives way to sight and we catch glimpses of God’s wonderful plan . . . All will be well. Not because life will turn out that way naturally, as if there were some kind of universal law that ensures it. Life is not good because that is simply the way life is. If anything, life is often hard, mean, and brutal. But in the end life will turn out well because God is good and kind and gracious. He is working mysteriously to redeem us and restore the world to what he intended it to be. All will be well because God is God. "

I subscribe to this publishing-industry e-newsletter, Shelf Awareness. One of my favorite parts is down at the end when they’re interviewing an author and they ask a bunch of questions, like “What book have you faked reading?” (War and Peace is a big one) and “What book have you bought just for the cover?” One of the last questions is “What book are you an evangelist for?”

Well, this is my answer. The Will of God as a Way of Life, by Gerry Sittser. My friend Michele first made us buy it because we both LOVED the title (subtitle: How to Make Every Decision with Peace and Confidence). If you don’t want to run out and buy it after that, well, I don’t think I’ll be able to convince you. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. After my first time reading it through, I stalked the author on his college’s website and sent him a totally effusive e-mail about how his writing had revolutionized my way of thinking about God’s will, and he very kindly wrote me back.

Sittser’s personal story is deeply compelling, filled with the kind of tragic loss that is literally hard to believe. You can read about it in another one of his books, A Grace Disguised, but suffice it to say that his understanding of the will of God is deeply rooted in the life-shaking, earth-shattering events that have served as markers in his life, as well as in the mundane and quiet moments that make up the vast majority of our time. And that’s the beauty of his writing – Sittser ‘gets’ it; he lives out of the center of God’s will and understands that God cares most about who we are becoming, not what we do or where we go or where we work or who we marry, even. It’s a delicious kind of freedom.


Anonymous said...

ok you probably didn't know I read your blog, BUT I found it and I just want to say that A GRACE DISGUISED is an amazing book and sort of changed my life. I'm glad you gave it a shout out here!

laura ortberg said...

no i love it when people read this thing! and i'm really glad that you love a grace disguised because it is AMAZING and maybe we could start a gerald sittser fan club.

Sarah said...

LOVE this book.