I’ve been reading an extremely long truffle book (see here for an explanation) for the past several weeks. And today, I chucked it in the dustbin. Although well written and compelling, I couldn’t really buy into it, and I got weary of all the swearing. Some folks read this book over and over again, but for my sensibilities, I just couldn’t get through the first pass.
So, I picked up another book, this one called Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz. You can read an amazing interview with him at Novel Journey. I loved this book! The writing is crisp, innovative, and entirely surprising. I love the affection with which Koontz writes, and the great care he takes at weaving lovable characters (and despicable ones too: he’s confirmed why I’ve never liked clowns).
I let go of one book, but was entirely blessed by another, which goes to show, one can learn many life lessons when one reads.
Sometimes my life takes on trajectories–places I never thought I’d be. Like the protagonist in Life Expectancy, I find myself in surprising places, some of which I’d rather not be. Eventually, to move forward in life, I have to learn the art of letting go of those surprising places, in order to embrace today. But that’s not easy, is it?
There was a lingering guilt I felt when I tossed the other book, but a delicious joy when I replaced it with another book. There is a lingering guilt I feel when I move away from another epoch of my life, but a delicious joy when I begin to experience the joy of living in the moment.
In all that, God is asking me something impossible: to let go, to fling away, to trajectorize the ME who criticizes myself to oblivion. The ME who berates myself with should-should-should mantras. Though that ME pummels me with you’re-no-goods, I’m hesitant to let her go. She’s my security blanket, the Me who keeps me in line, who smashes any sense of pride and insures the proper levels of humility.
Can I fling that ME away? And in her place what will God do? What will He make of little ol’ me? Who will I be if I’m not critical of myself? Maybe I’ll be that clown I fear! Maybe I’ll have joy, peace, hope and laughter. Or maybe just plain rest, which seems to have eluded me.
What do you need to fling? What is God asking you to pick up? Are you scared? Excited? Indifferent? I can tell you this: I’m a bit terrified at the prospect. Even so, I am hopeful that leaving parts of me behind mean I’ll be finding great new things . . . just like the books.
If only life were as simple as words on a page.