(This is the next segment in a book I agreed to read and review, Beauty In The Wreckage: Finding Peace In The Age Of Outrage, by Brandon Andress, scheduled to be released October 9. If you haven’t seen my review of Chapter 1, you can find it HERE; find Chapter 2 HERE; Chapter 3 HERE; Chapter 4 HERE; Chapter 5 HERE; Chapter 6 HERE, and Chapter 7 HERE. Watch for the rest of the chapter reviews today. Order your copy starting Oct. 9)
Living As The Presence
Rather than going on and on with images of brokenness and then restoration, as so many books and blogs do today, Brandon reaches out to us with the hope that comes from making our own decision to invite Shalom into our lives. So many people waste time focusing on what’s wrong rather than focusing on what is present right now among us, but what so many choose to ignore: Shalom. Shalom is all around us. Argue with that truth or disbelieve this truth–it’s still Truth.
And if this book wasn’t personal enough, Brandon challenges us to not only invite God’s Shalom into our hearts, but also to share God’s Shalom in this angry, distrustful, and fearful culture. (If you doubt my description of our current culture being angry, distrustful and hateful, have you not been listening to the U.S. Senate confirmation hearing?????)
In the first subsection of this chapter is a powerful heading of 2 words: Human Doings. Not human “beings” but human DOINGS! He brings to light that people measure life by what they do or what is happening around them, rather than accepting the Shalom that surrounds us. Busyness has replaced consciousness is the truth Brandon carefully paints with his words.
Here in this chapter we are faced with a choice: remain busy but unfulfilled or be still in the presence of God where abundant life, and even more abundant Shalom is found. Brandon reminds us of both the importance of the power and the hope found by being still and in solitude with God. His real life experiences bring this truth into focus. We may not be able to go to Alaska or the Grand Canyon, but we can find those places where solitude with God overwhelms our busyness in life.
His challenge of using all of our physical senses to experience the Divine, well, Brandon has hit the center ring. I’m left feeling that this is where I am missing Shalom and why I fail to bring Shalom with me in too many places where life happens. May I learn to practice what Brandon has discovered. May it be so, oh Lord, may it be so….
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the Glory goes to HIM!