A N0n-Fiction Book
I hope, as with yesterday’s post, that this is not an expectation of me to have a non-fiction book written and posted here. While I am, without question, a cesspool of useless knowledge, I would never claim to know enough about any particular subject to be able to write a book about it. If I were that clever, I’d have a couple of PhD’s under my belt. As it is, I don’t.
I don’t do non-fiction that often. It isn’t that I don’t find it interesting, because I do. It’s just that I’d rather, if I’m investing my time in a book, spend that time getting into something a little more ficitony. For me, reading is an escape from real life. Non-fiction books tend to have a little too much to do with real life for my liking. And if I want to experience real life, I’d go out there and experience it. ‘Cause real life… it’s all over the place.
But let’s say I want to promote something in the non-fiction realm. I’ll promote something that I read several years ago. It’s one by John Piper called When I Don’t Desire God. At the time that I read this book, I was in a season of life where I had a really hard time finding joy in my life. A friend of mine suggested that I check this book out.
It ended up taking me a while to get around to it for several reasons. First, as is the case today, I wasn’t necessarily a big fan of reading the non-fiction. It’s not that I didn’t want to take my friend’s suggestion seriously, it’s just that I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy reading what I thought would end up being an instruction manual on how to find joy.
Secondly, I knew it would be a book that I would have to spend money on. I’m just not a fan of spending money on things. Even if it’s something that I really want for myself, I have to be convinced to part with the cash in my account. Not that I’m hoarding money or anything, I just know there isn’t much of it to go around. Frivolity is not something to which I can subscribe.
But I did, in fact, get around to it. And I want to thank Erynn for suggesting that I read the book. Because it was good and had a lot of good insights into a lot of my issues. Okay, not really insights into my personal issues, but insights into the roots of those issues.
Here’s the thing: this book didn’t change my life. I didn’t go into this thing expecting a miraculous turn around. I didn’t think that I would read a few magic words and then suddenly be Mr. Sunshine. And that’s not what happened.
Honestly, most of what I read I already knew. But what I read in this book served as an excellent reminder and gave a few added tips.
There’s a part of me that wishes I had taken notes as I made my way through the book. It isn’t that I have a horrible memory. It just that, again, sometimes it helps to have reminders when it comes to these things. Kind of like the situation where you’re able to dispense advice to friends or family, but you can’t seem to follow that advice yourself. Hearing the words from someone else can sometimes be a real wake-up call.
The biggest thing that I’m taking away from Piper’s book is right there in the subtitle: How to Fight for Joy. Piper spells it out very clearly that joy doesn’t just happen. Joy is something that we have to fight for. Every. Single. Day. He also makes it clear that it isn’t a fight that we can win on our own. The strength it takes to fight for the joy that God wants us to have can only come from God.
Repeatedly, Piper throws out the line, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” What this says is that God wants us to find our strength, our hope, our joy in Him, gaining true satisfaction in this life. In doing so, it brings glory to Him.
I said that this wasn’t a magical book that changed my life as soon as I finished it. The fight for joy is a daily battle and the suggestions I found in Piper’s book put me on the right track during a very difficult time in my life. Some of the things I needed to do and some of the changes I needed to make were difficult. Some of the issues that I needed to face really took a lot of work. But I fought. And I’ve been able to reach a place of contentment in my life. Not contentment in anything that I’ve been able to achieve, but contentment in my relationship with Christ. That’s the root of my joy. It’s not about where I am or who I’m friends with or how I work during the day. It’s not about my circumstances. It’s about my identity in Him.