At the end of 2014, I made a goal of reading at least 10 pages of a book every day. This seemingly small goal revolutionized my life. In 2015, I read more books than I had read in the rest of my life combined. It sparked a passion for slowing down and consuming written works. There are many lessons to be learned in books — about yourself, others and the world. Just the act of slowing down to read a book is a kind of sabbath that nurtues the soul.
As an object, a book represents slowness and sabbath. It forces you to contemplate and consider. Books are antithetical to other fast-paced objects we touch and look at each day. Phones, computers, televisions, cars, humans. They are all fast. They change quickly. They inundate us with multiple streams of information to think about at the same time. No object is inherently bad. We make them bad when they begin to move our innermost beings away from peace, rest, joy, and steadfastness.
With this landscape of fast-paced objects, reading is more important now than it has ever been. I desire to consume less words in a day. To consume better words. This means shutting off screens. It means creating sacred, unprofaned spaces where silence is allowed to have its full effect. In 2016, I was able to create those small pockets to read the following books, to think and ponder, and to write. I hope to create even more of those spaces in 2017.
1. Mans Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
A 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imagining that outcome.
2. The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard
3. Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament by Richard B. Hays
4. How to Be Here by Rob Bell
Rob is one of my favorite communicators. He is a craftsmen of words. I read this in about 3 hours.
5. The Doors of the Sea by David Bentley Hart
Helped me in understanding the Eastern Orthodox tradition and continuing to come out of neo-reformed Calvinsim which was all I had ever heard up until a few years ago.
6. The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel
7. River Flow by David Whyte
8. The Day the Revolution Began by Tom Wright
9. Undiluted by Benjamin Corey
10. Children of God Storybook Bible by Desmond Tutu