Several years ago I “discovered” John Ortberg through his book, If You Want to Walk on Water, You Gotta Get Out of the Boat, which I reviewed on my old blog. I’ve read several other books by him since, and he never fails to challenge my thinking. I’ve also listened to several of his podcasts, and came across a great podcast by his wife, Nancy on Spiritual Friendships. (To listen, you can subscribe to MPPC podcast and go back to August of 2008).
Needless to say, when her book Looking for God came out last year, I had to get my hands on a copy. And I was not disappointed. For starters, the book is subtitled “an unexpected journey through tattoos, tofus and pronouns.” And the table of contents is laid out rather differently, something I always take notice of. But it’s what’s inside – twenty chapters of straight talk from a fellow traveler – that kept me from putting the book down. Chapter after chapter, she addresses some of her honest questions and struggles and the path of resolution she has found in God’s word and her relationships with others.
In a chapter entitled Model, Nancy emphasizes the importance of authenticity over merely modeling right behavior, which emphasizes the external. “Authenticity means being honest about our struggles, knowing that in that honesty, God will meet us and transform us.”
In a short chapter entitled theBword, she stopped me in my tracks with her suggestion that “balance is a myth” that gives the “illusion of control”, and that what God really wants is a “well-ordered heart. A rhythm of life that renews the life of God in us, that allows for mistakes and messes . . . ”
One other favorite quote: “Remembering pulls the past, with all of God’s presence, into our present and future. At its best, it reconnects us to God and his activity in our lives . . . reminds us that God was present, acted mightily in our lives before, and promises to do it again.”
In a nutshell, I’d say Nancy’s heartbeat is looking for and experiencing God in the ordinary moments of our lives. Whether you zip through the book in a weekend like I did, or take your time and read it devotionally, I guarantee you find plenty of thought-provoking encouragement to take away from this awesome little book.