Saturday, July 02, 2005

Books I Hope to Write Someday

I've had some of these titles in the back of my head for years and years now (although some are a "little" more recent). I've even started writing some of them from time to time...but my biggest problem is that, while I seem to be great with titles, what I really have to say seems to only take up a few pages. But here they are. If you're a writer and you steal one...well...dedicate it to me or something. That is, unless I've got a book deal and my version is like two weeks away from coming out. Then I might be mad.

"The Other Brother"

This was mainly a book of encouragement for people like me - people who, while they did their share of "sinning," didn't do the "big" stuff. That is, stuff that would be a scandal at church like leave the church, have a child out of wedlock, sleep around, get arrested for something, be gay, etc. That's not to say that we're any less in need of salvation since all sins are equally bad in God's eyes...but we've never done anything "really bad" in the eyes of people - just like the "other brother" in the parable Jesus told about the "Prodigal Son." In that story, a rich man has two sons. The younger one decides that he's not going to wait for his father to die - he wants his inheritance _now_! So his dad gives it to him, and he goes off and spends wildly and loses it all in a short amount of time. He becomes destitute and decides that he'd rather be a servant in his father's household than live on the streets, so he goes back. His father sees him coming and instead of making him a servant (as he deserves), he runs out to meet him, cleans him up, and throws him a big party. Needless to say, the "other brother" is kinda upset. Here he was, doing his job the whole time, being "good," while his brother ran off to get into who-knows-what, but _HE_ never got a party.

And we hear sermon after sermon about the Prodigal Son that we just can't relate to since we've never run away to a life of debauchery - we've always stayed "home" and been "good." Our only part in the story is a gruff reminder from the Father that all that is remaining in His household is ours and we can have a party any time we want to, but we should rejoice that the Prodigal Son has returned.

In my own life, this happened when friends who _did_ sleep around always seemed to have boyfriends, while I was always single. And especially when those same friends had babies when I wanted them, while I waited...and waited...and waited...(and still wait!). Here I was, doing things "right," while they "messed up" and got "everything" I wanted.

Now, clearly, my feelings were an exaggeration because a) I was far from "right" most of the time, b) they were just "messing up" in _different_ and more public ways than I was - I was still messing up, and c) they _weren't_ getting "everything" I wanted because, deep down, I "wanted" those things in the "right" way (and, of course, it wasn't truely "everything").

So, the book would be geared towards people who, like me, haven't done anything "majorly wrong," and who take some pride in that, but are kinda irked when they see people who _do_ do "big" stuff wrong get things they want. And it would have three main points, maybe four:
1) We're not as perfect as we think we are.
2) All sins are equal in God's eyes, we're just better at hiding ours maybe (which could be considered worse in some respects than letting our sins be known).
3) As in the story, we're _going_ to get those things we want - we just have to wait until the right time (the Other Brother _did_ get his inheritance too, and in fact, everything his Father still owned belonged to him - he just had to wait).
4) Our focus, instead of being on the "things" that the other people are getting (as the Father in the story points out to the Other Brother), should be on the Father's business. Psalm 34:5 says that if we "delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart" (that's the "Melissa Standard Version, btw - i.e., not a "real" translation of the Bible...just the general gist of the verse however I remember it). While that verse is something of a Catch-22 (if the Lord is our "delight," then our desires will be whatever He wants), He is also our creater and knows us and our desires better than we know ourselves. He knows when that perfect person is going to come along, or that perfect job, or babies, or a house, or whatever it is that you're dreaming of, and He knows exactly how long you're going to need to wait before it all happens. So in the meantime, He prepares us for His Business and so that we'll be ready when we actually _do_ get those "desires of our heart."

Obviously, there's not too much to say about points 1 and 2...and I've basically said a lot of what I want to say for points 3 and 4. Hence the not writing of this book. But it's still a great idea!

"'Twitterpated' with God"
In the movie "Bambi," after he and Thumper have survived the winter together, the springtime comes and the boys find themselves "twitterpated" (in the words of the Owl). Everyone's felt that way (you know, "in love") from time to time - when all you want is to be near the other person, to say their name, to do things that will make them happy, all you can talk about is them and how wonderful they are.

Well, what I just described is what the Christian life really ought to be, except that we'd be "twitterpated" with God rather than another person (although both can happen at once).

The thing is, in a "real" relationship, the feeling "in love" comes and goes - especially after you've been together for a while. Some days you'll see your significant other in ways that are decidedly _not_ "twitterpating." Which is why I think marriage shouldn't be based on being "in love" (but that's a different book :) ). But all of the things we're commanded to as believers really seem to fit this description of being "in love" with God. So what do we need to do to restore the "romance" in our relationship with Him?

And what would Christendom look like if we all felt that way?

Crud....there was at least one more that I can't think of right now. Oh well, I'll post it later. I hope you enjoyed my book ideas!

1 comment:

Bethie said...

I've had that idea about writing a book about the "good people" still working to be better Christians too. We must be clones!