Ever noticed how God seems to weave our lives in a complex tapestry? Something happens that dovetails with another event that finally makes the penny drop with something else that happened a month ago, etc., etc… Makes me want to fly way up high and see how the tapestry’s coming along! 😉
A particularly bright thread in the last two weeks has been reading The Shack. Just to get it out of the way as to where I stand on this book (unfortunately, anything that is wildly popular/successful in the Christian world brings out the heresy hunters en masse), go read this book! (After you read the book, take a look at the author’s personal profile here.)
Ok, there, I said it.
If you’ve not heard of the book, it’s a wonderfully written and engrossing novel that reveals, in fresh and incredibly creative ways, who God is, the relationship of the Trinity and His love for us and His Creation.
All I can say to those who don’t like the theology, I wish you the best and deepest relationship you can have with your Heavenly Papa.
What, for me, is so wonderful, is not the book by itself but how the Lord has weaved it into what He’s already been saying to me the last 3 months and how He prepared my heart before I read it.
The book actually was lent to us from a South African friend of ours (it’s huge in South Africa apparently…can’t wait for the French translation!) and Angela read it a while back. The premise of the story scared me away at first simply because, as a parent, I thought it would be too hard to read. It will open up your heart with difficult situations, but it’s not brutal. It’s hard at times to read (many tears possible…be warned), but in my opinion, it’s safe. No nightmares.
Anyway, in the mean time, God was working on my heart:
- This summer, as you can read here, I went on a 1-week personal retreat to break through my fatigue and re-center my heart.
- Then at the beginning of the school year, I purposed to change my weekly schedule to make the use of my time more effective, to carve out more time with the Lord most every day, and to work at keeping a real weekly sabbath (no, Sunday doesn’t work for me…too much work to be done then!).
- Then I heard an aside in an audio teaching by NT Wright that plunged me back into one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, Romans 8. As I dug in there, I began to have some gradual revelation about the Spirit of Adoption (Romans 8:15), among other things.
- Finally, I went with a few others from our church to a conference in Germany recently where the Lord broke through to me about my real freedom in Him via a time of meditation on Romans 8:2 and some of the teaching in the conference.
This is the context in which I finally picked up The Shack. My heart was already prepared and actively enjoying my “sonship” with my Abba Father. This makes for very fertile “heart ground” into which God can plant all sorts of wonderful seeds!
So, while I do recommend this book, I realize that a prepared heart will go a long way to making this book a real window into the heart of God and not simply an occasion to painfully sprain your theology…I’d tell you more, but I don’t want to ruin the story!