Everyone’s spiritual journey is different. For Donald Miller, his involved auditing classes at Reed College while living in Portland. Reed is known for it’s disdain of Christians, but Miller found it to be a place where his faith was brought to new light.
Having grown up in the church, Miller begins to questions what Christianity is really about. He feels that the church did little to teach how to relate to God and who He really is and focused more on memorizing rules and commandments. He sees the devil’s greatest trick as trying to get us to simply be religious instead of actually getting close to God. Miller meets a few friends at Reed who actually are Christians and is drawn to their authenticity in the midst of a climate that is far from accepting. He sees them living out their faith by simply loving Jesus and letting that speak instead of trying to sell God. The section where a group of them create a confessional in the center of campus is priceless. It shows that sometimes when we think outside the box as Christians and put ourselves out there in humility, great things can happen.
After living in the woods with hippies, living in community with five other guys and living alone out in the country, Miller sees how God has wired him and how much having others in your life is essential to healthy living. Through close friends, he is encouraged to feed the homeless, truly listen to those who irritate and genuinely accept love from others. He sees that the world outside of the church is not as big and scary as Sunday school teachers and pastors may want you to believe. He finds people who truly know how to love others, be real and humbly accept that they don’t have all the answers.
As I read this book, I found myself laughing out loud, getting teary and sensing profound truth all within a matter of a few pages. I basically loved the entire thing. I found Miller’s honesty refreshing and as someone who is also in a part of my spiritual journey questioning all I was taught to believe versus all that I currently see around me, I was encouraged. I never once felt that Miller was pointing a finger at the church and placing blame, but rather continuously pointing a finger back at himself and the ways he needs or wants to change to make a difference for God. I felt as if I was reading his personal journal and I was grateful he let me read it.
Rated PG13: College campus situations. Nothing bad, only material a young teen might not relate to.
Book provided by the reviewer.