Some time ago a friend said she wanted to give her husband some books for their wedding anniversary. But instead of buying them, she asked some friends to recommend and review a couple of books that she could compile into a list. Here were my two.
It is a superb introduction to Genesis and its great themes. Genesis as we tend not to see it: a magnificent story.
Two things stand out for me. One is that, beginning with Abraham, God initiated a partnership with us: “God won’t change things without human cooperation, and humans can’t change without divine assistance. Only when choosing to grow in partnership with God will the human recover lost companionability with both God and fellow human. That is God’s fervent wish.”
The second is, that Borgman points out how normal the very human responses of the various actors on the Genesis stage are. Then he says, speaking of Abram at this point, “Abram must learn something better than being normal. His ordinary way of being in the world must change.” This has become a regular and fervent prayer of mine. “God, in this situation, on this day, help me be better than normal in all my interactions and responses.”
The second book is Mark Buchanan’s (2006), The Rest of God: Restoring your Faith by Restoring Sabbath.
A very human and very real look at our normal responses to Sabbath-keeping. It is a call to rediscover God’s rest and the rest of God—and to delight in the process.
One of the keys for Jen and me was an almost throwaway line in the introduction, which becomes a central theme. Of his workaholic, argumentative days, he writes, “I preferred rightness to intimacy.”
Another on-going prayer for me has been, “Lord, help me to seek intimacy and relationship, rather than rightness.” I especially try to pray it in heavy traffic!