Saturday, December 20, 2008

Blue Like Jazz

I started reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller again yesterday because I was bored, couldn't sleep, didn't want to be on my computer, didn't want to watch a movie- basically did not want to do any of the normal mundane things I do to pass time. So, I decided that I needed some spiritual guidance and picked up one of my favorite books to read one more time.

It's funny because even though I read this book before and adored it, I feel as though I am reading it for the first time again. I think it's because I have grown a lot in a lot of different ways since the first time I read it so it's as though it is being read with new eyes and a new understanding. I also think I am applying it to my life a lot more this time around.

That's a tough thing about spirituality and life in general I guess: you can be greatly affected by something and want this affect to change your life but it's all lead by emotion. Once that emotion wears off you go right back to the way you were as though this "something" never even entered your life. At least, I know that has happened to me a lot in my lifetime. Whether it be when I rededicated myself to Christ at Acquire the Fire or even when I decided to start working out and getting in shape. While it was happening, it was the most amazing feeling in the world. I felt like a changed person. Once I got comfortable in my life again I went right back to being the lazy person that I am. That's really what my problem is, you know. I am just a really lazy person who never wants to put forth the effort to change my ways because staying sedentary is just plain easier.

Going back to Blue Like Jazz, I decided this time around that I wanted to highlight stuff that hit me as it hit me. Unfortunately, last night I was being (*cue buzz word*) lazy and didn't want to get up to get a pen or pencil. Thus, I missed out on some valuable underlining. Just now, however, I picked up a pencil I had found in my purse earlier in the evening and started skimming through the previously read chapters to find stuff to underline. From now on I am going to keep this pencil with my book so that I won't lose another opportunity to underline key phrases and quotes that hit me the hardest.

So far, I have already underlined a lot of stuff. I wanted to share some of it with you now! :)

Here is a poem by C.S. Lewis that Miller quotes in his book. It really hit me hard and if you are a Christ follower, it will probably strike a chord with you too:

All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through;
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.

Peace, reassurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin;
I talk of love- a scholar's parrot may talk Greek-
But self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

Translate it as you will. To me, this poem is talking about our hypocritical sinful nature. We sing about our love of God at church, we tell others how much we love God but how do we truly show evidence of that? We need to love God's children before ourselves and that is showing God that you love him.

It's funny, I was randomly listening to "Jesus Freak" today on my iPod and at the end of that song, because I've had that CD for most of my life it seems like, I know immediately which song follows it. At the beginning of "What if I Stumble" by dcTalk a man is talking and he says, "The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." That poem and what it means made me think of that. We need to stop being hypocrites because the rest of the world is looking down on us and watching us. They see Christians acting like idiots, acting completely against what Jesus taught, then going to church every Sunday and passionately praising him. (I will be the first to admit that I am one of those people. I'm not going to dish out my opinion and not take it to heart too... I'm teaching myself in this process as well, trust me.) Non-Christians see all of that and think that that is what a Christian is supposed to be like. A Christian is a follower of Christ and His teachings so why aren't we doing that? Why is it "easy" (or at least more compulsory in their beliefs) for Orthodox Jews to follow the 613 laws that G-d laid out for them and yet it is near impossible for us as Christians to follow the TEN Commandments?

Maybe you have some answers to some of my questions, some disagreements to some of my opinions, or just additions to what I've said. If so, PLEASE comment. I really want to expand my brain and my heart as much as possible in this matter. Thank you!

Sorry this thing is so long. Unbelievably this is not even half the stuff that has run through my brain since reading this book again and I'm only halfway through it!

1 comment:

Amanda said...

my brain is so blah right now. i want to comment. there is a lot of good stuff in there. but i think im gonna have to wait til we are in the same room one night soon and we can chat up a storm. i've not read blue like jazz but i have some ideas about how to stop the spiritual high from fizzing out in such a way--things you can do to keep you drawing closer to God on a daily, regular basis. (stuff i'm learning too)

love you chica...cant wait to see you!