Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Year of Living Biblically

Ever since I went Island hopping with Mr. Kelly Garren I've been reading a book by an agnostic man, author A. J. Jacobs, living in New York city. In it he wrestles with adapting to a Biblically inspired lifestyle for 365 days. I haven't finished it yet, but time and again I find snippets of commentary that provoke feelings of inspiration in my own heart. On the inside cover the New York Times Book Review remarks that "For many of us...walking with Jacobs is the closest we'll come to knowing what it feels like to be born again."

Where due credit is due, I have enjoyed reading it thus far. It has helped me to revisit asking questions about the Bible and I concede that it's a lot more thought out than I would have guessed.

Here's a section that really put the skids on my life.
Give thanks in all circumstances... - Thessalonians 5:18

Day 263. I feel myself becoming an extremist--at least in some areas. Like with my obsession with gratefulness. I can't stop.
Just now , I press the elevator button and am thankful that it arrives quickly.
I get onto the elevator and am thankful that the elevator cable didn't snap and plummet me to the basement.
I go to the fifth floor and am thankful that I didn't have to stop on the second or third or fourth floor.
I get out and am thankful that Julie left the door unlocked so I don't have to rummage for my King Kong key ring.
I walk in, and am thankful that jasper is home and healthy and stuffing his face with pineapple wedges.
And on and on. I'm actually muttering to myself, "Thank you ... thank you ... thank you."
It's an odd way to live. But also kind of great and powerful. I've never before been so aware of the thousands of little good things, the thousands of things that go right every day.
Sometimes my thank-yous are directed at no one in particular. It's more of an appreciation than a thanks. A reminder to myself: "Pay attention, pal. Savor this moment." But other times, when I'm in a believing phase, my thanks have an addressee. I'm thanking God, or the universal laws of nature--I'm not sure which--but it gives the act of thanking more weight.
-A. J. Jacobs