Have you ever loved doing something and then, somewhere along the path in life, you just forgot? Whatever it was, you just didn’t do it as much or with as much passion as you had in the past. I’ve read articles that posit the idea that as people we change about every seven years. We change personality or lifestyle or passions. Maybe that’s what’s happened to me, but I rediscovered something when I was away on renewal leave last month. I rediscovered just how much I love to read. Now I know that sounds a little silly considering that I read all the time. I’m always reading my Bible, commentaries, researching websites and articles for sermon preparation… but that’s just the point. Almost all of the reading I do anymore is for my work. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, and I do enjoy that reading and the things I discover. But when I went away last month I took along a book that wasn’t for research, planning, or sermon prep.
The book was called Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger and it is a fiction novel. What I’d forgotten was just how much I enjoyed reading simply for the sake of reading, just for the enjoyment. I have vivid memories of my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Haider reading The Chronicles of Narnia to our class. At the age of 12 I first read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. I would end up reading that series over again a number of times. When I was in high school I picked up a book called The Shining by a guy named Stephen King. Maybe you’ve heard of him? Subsequently I devoured anything that King wrote. I also became enamored of Dean Koontz, Peter Straub, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Robert Asprin, and Piers Anthony. For a long time I was a voracious reader. But something happened along the way and my appetite for fiction waned. Sure, I’d read a King novel now and then (Cell, ugh!), but mostly my reading became more of a passion for movies.
And then along comes Ordinary Grace. I received this book as something of a lark. I wasn’t familiar with the author, but came across it on a discount table at Barnes & Noble and thought, “Well, why not?” And I am so pleased that I did. Ordinary Grace tells the story of an eventful summer in the life of a 13y/o son of a Methodist pastor in rural Minnesota. It’s a coming of age story wrapped in a murder mystery and explores overarching themes of grace (obviously), forgiveness, acceptance, prejudice, and of course faith. A day and a half… that’s how long it took me to get through this book of 200+ pages. I could not put it down. It was the kind of passion for reading fiction that I had back in my teens. Since then, I’m on to other fiction novels both on paper and in audio form. I have a monthly subscription to Audible.com through which I listen to book on digital audio through my smartphone. I use this for work, personal development, and enjoyment. Currently I’m listening to another novel called The Overton Window by Glenn Beck.
So what am I saying this week? Well, let me ask the question again: Have you ever loved doing something and then, somewhere along the path in life, you just forgot? What is it in your life that you had a real passion for and have simply forgotten? Is it something that you might still enjoy, something that might improve your life or the lives of those around you? Why not give it a shot again? I believe we’ve all got a stash of lost or forgotten passions in our lives and that some of those passions might be worth resurrecting. After all, it was Socrates that was noted for saying “The unexamined life is not worth living.” This week, do a little self-examination. Find out what it is in your life that you’ve simply forgotten. Is it something that might be helpful in building god’s Kingdom today? Maybe it’s time for a little resurrection.