Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hidden in Plain Sight

I make it a habit not to endorse books or movies that I have not gotten all the way through.  On more than one occasion I have encounterd a surprise that made me grateful for that policy.  But today I am going to suspend that rule.

Lately I have been reading Hidden in Plain Sight: The Secret of More by Mark Buchanan.  He's a pastor on Vancouver Island with a fresh, compelling writing style and a deep understanding of the human soul.  I am only in the early chapters, yet I have been drawn in to the desire for more of God, more of godliness throughout the pages I've read.

Based on 2 Peter 1:1-9, where Peter talks about seven virtues that we are to add to our faith, Buchanan's premise is that if we add these virtues to our own lives we will experience the "more" that we long for in our lives as followers of Christ.

In his introduction Buchanan describes a spelunking trip with his daughter's fourth grade class, where he slithered through cracks in huge rocks so that he could explore a cave in spite of his own claustrophobia, only to find unspeakable wonders inside the cave. Then he says:

  This is a book about practicing virtue, which at first may seem -- it did to me -- a descent into something narrow and dark and enclosing, a world without wind, without open spaces where weather dances its varied moods.  The word virtue almost made me claustrophobic.  By temperament and against better instinct, I still have moments where I think the good life is seeking my own pleasure at my own convenience, and so the very thought of practicing virtue chafed me.  I pictured Victorian women bound in corsets.  I pictured Mormon boys in starched white shirts and crisp ties, earnestly soliciting at my door.  I pictured primness and stiffness and pursed lips and arched eyebrows.
   I never imagined life to the full.
   But that's what I'm discovering: a world vast and beautiful and holy -- that all along has been hidden in plain sight.
   Why don't you come in here with me, and see for yourself?

I'm going in.  Anyone joining me?

P.S. In case you're interested, I see that at the moment Amazon has several used copies of the book available for $.01 each, with a $3.99 shipping charge.

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