Tuesday, October 9, 2007
The Virtual Bookclub...Installment One!
I wrote this a few months ago, but thought I would post for The Virtual Bookclub....
If you haven't yet read Eat, Pray, Love....consider this your spoiler alert. If you're going to read it, progress no further! Because really, I would love to hear your opinion untainted by mine. I read this book just last month, and the author was on Oprah this week (love those serendipitous surprises). For me, Eat, Pray, Love was Magnificent, capital M. And although she and I will disagree on her theology, or lack of it, I rooted for her throughout the whole book. What I liked about Liz was that she was off to find not only herself, but she bit the universal bullet and decided to try to find God too. Not to mention her Purpose, Inner Peace and a host of other completely elusive and seemingly unattainable goals. What I really liked about her was that she was so purposeful about it. She knew what she needed to learn, and she chose three locations specifically for what they had to teach. Liz said that one of her main (and one of the more daring, to my mind!) goals in India was to be still, something she had rarely been able to do before. The Hebrews believed that if you saw God's face, you would immediately drop dead. Maybe a little of that terror still exists in our modern hearts, which is why so few of us seem to be able to sit still and listen to our inner thoughts for more than 5 seconds. She really dove into it though. She was determined to heal. And finally, she nears the end of her yearlong journey. She feels that she's heard her Creator's voice (she describes writing comforting words to herself in her journal in a voice, "not quite mine"). She believes she's sat in the "palm of God." She's experientially learned something about what it means to be on this earth- she's grasped love and compassion. And then she abruptly concludes by saying that maybe the voice she heard back in the dark days, comforting her, was just herself. Her future self (more mature and growing) comforting her present self (crippled and struggling). And I thought, OH NO, she's missed it! No, no, no! You were right the first time! God was there. God was guiding you. God was revealing Himself to you. You spent all that time trying to give up control, just to snatch it back when things began to go well. You found inner peace and then tried to take credit for it. I felt strangely disappointed in the ending. I listened closely to her interview on Oprah, trying to figure her out. I guess the conclusion I came to is this: We all have completely unique paths to God. And certainly He is awesome enough to take every one's unique journey into account, to even delight in each twisted path. Because that's how He made us. No two exactly alike. And maybe the point I'm trying to grasp here is to have the courage to take the journey. How He must love it when we do that! So more power to you, Liz. Keep going! And it was nice to see you on Oprah. Smiling.