I’m reading a book called ‘The Shack’, written by William Paul Young. It came highly recommended by my pastor and Mo Cushla and I picked up a copy a few weeks ago. And am I glad we did!
Anyone who knows me well knows I read very fast and by very fast I mean getting through hundreds of pages in a matter of hours. However this is one book I don’t want to finish in a hurry.
I’m experiencing a paradigm shift of monumental proportions as I read. There are so many mind-blowing concepts in the book, I keep having to set it down to adequately absorb each and every one.
The protagonist, Mack, experiences a great tragedy which causes him to become quite angry at God. However an encounter with God leads him to question his faith and re-evaluate his entire understanding of his relationship with God. I’m not doing a very good job of summarising the book but that wasn’t my intention anyway. If you wish to know more about the book, I suggest you read my friend and fellow blogger’s post on it. http://scribblingsofawriter.wordpress.com/2008/10/23/im-currently-readingthe-shack/#more-184
One of the things I found instructive from one of the many discussions Mack has with God is how we determine what is good and what is evil. Each of us decides what we feel is good for us which means it is subject to each of our interpretations and could therefore be evil to someone else.
I love the way God tells Mack something to the effect that our relationship with Him is not based on performance. The thing is having been so active in Church for so long, it is difficult not to equate activity and performance with relationship particularly now that I find myself in a different season of life with the demands of raising young children and I’m unable to ‘do’ as much as I did previously. It’s a relief to know that God doesn’t need my ‘doing’ to love me, I just need to ‘be’.
A section of the book deals with Mack’s proclivity to judge people, their motives and actions. Now making judgements is something we all do on a regular basis without even realising it but this statement from the book humbled me, “Judging requires that you think yourself superior over the one you judge.” (Well it really should be ‘superior to’ not ‘superior over’ but I won’t split hairs as this is not a semantics discourse).
This book has got me wondering whether God will be anything like we think He is when we finally see Him face-to-face. Or will we experience a total about-face?
I know this is just a very well-written work of fiction but the concepts it raises are helping me re-evaluate my relationship with God and make changes for the better. That, in my books, can only be a good thing.