Thursday, November 15, 2007


While I was cooking the turkey yesterday, I started a new book: Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper. I have actually owned it for a couple of years, but it never made it to the top of my stack. I only made it twenty pages in, but I can already tell I am going to enjoy its message.

There were so many passages I read repeatedly, but in honor of Thanksgiving, I will share this one. Piper is talking about how the readings of C.S. Lewis impacted his life.

"Lewis gave me an intense sense of the "realness" of things. The preciousness of this is hard to communicate. To wake up in the morning and be aware of the firmness of the mattress, the warmth of the sun's rays, the sound of the clock ticking, the sheer being of things ("quiddity" as he calls it). He helped me become alive to life. He helped me see what is there in the world--things that, if we didn't have, we would pay millions of dollars to have, but having them, ignore.

He made me more alive to beauty.He put my soul on notice that there are daily wonders that will waken worship if I open my eyes. He shook my dozing soul and threw the cold water of reality in my face so that life and God and heaven and hell broke into my world with glory and horror." (from pages 15-16, Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper)

Is your soul dozing? Mine seems to get distracted easily. Like K a few days ago when I took her with me to pick up something at K-Mart. As we walked through the automatic doors our senses were overcome by the sights and sounds of Christmas. To our right there were eight decorated Christmas trees and dozens of large lawn decorations--from elves and lighted reindeer to an inflatable snow globe and a tremendous Mickey Mouse and friends carousel. There was an abundance of fake snow, sleigh bells and several different Christmas songs playing simultaneously. I can only describe K's reaction as similar to what I would expect at Disney. She oohed and aahed, giggled and had eyes as large as saucers.

I giggled with her. It was magical--considering we were in K-Mart. We lingered trying to take it all in. Then, as we were about to leave I saw a very small, rudimentary manger scene on the floor. It was tucked down in a mound of fake snow. It did not glitter. It did not have lights or music. It was just there waiting to be noticed...and I almost missed it.

I almost missed it. Isn't that true of so much in my life?

Today I am going to be intentional about looking for the things I am missing in my daily life. The things that, as Piper says, " if we didn't have, we would pay millions of dollars to have, but having them, ignore."

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. Open the eyes of my heart. I want to see You. I want to see You.


Wendy said...

Love that book!

I will be paying attention to these things today too. Thanks.

Tina said...

I've never read the book, but you have definitely peaked my interest. Thank you for sharing this today, I have added it to my Thankful Thursday post. You are such a blessing!

Bev said...

'intentional living' - loved this post!

Seized by Hope said...

"Is your soul dozing?"...great question for a great post. I also loved the line about the intense "realness" of things. Plenty to ponder.

All this and you made a turkey too?


Rachel Brooke said...

Wow, that is very sad to hear bout the hidden manger. But God is a humbled God, he doesn't need bells, whistles, or glitter...we do want to notice His presence and celebrate His love for us during this time of year. Wonderful post, thank you for starting off my morning with truth!

Lois E. Lane said...

I have also had this book sitting on my shelf for a couple years. Thanks for the reminder and the inspiration to pick it up!

Embracing my cup said...

Love this post!!!

Fall leaves, laughing babies, cuddling toddlers, cool breezes, clear blue skies, sunsets. . .

I could go on and on. It is so true if I didn't have these things I would go to great lengths to posess them. Yet, God gives them to me freely every single day!!

Thanks for the reminder!

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

You are the second person this week to reference this book! I think I'm going to go pick it up.

Loved this post.


Danielle said...

Thank you again and again. When my days seem long and my focus distracted, I appreciate and embrace the honesty and encouragement in your posts. This life we are making is full of joy and little moments to be cherished. I am so grateful for this reminder to remember to look, to really see what is right before me.

Renee said...

Precious Jen!

Thank you for the sweet reminder!

Sweet blessings,

Pam said...

I need to pick up this book. This sounds fabulous, and I love all I've read of his in the past.

Turkey already done . . . good for you!!

You know, we need to get together on purpose sometime, just so I can lose that stalker label! : ) I know you don't like coffee, but I'd be up for some hot chocolate . . .

Thanks for this post. A great reminder, for sure.