I have a friend. I know, I know…don’t we all? Sometimes I even have more than one at a time! Sometimes, friendships evolve as a result of “a God Thing,” which is the circumstance I found myself in by ‘friending’ a ‘friend’ of a friend on Facebook. Yeah, that old chestnut.
But wait! This friend grew to be an actual friend, on account of the fact that he is a gifted writer/blogger AND loves Jesus. He just came out with a new book, Ruminations.
I am plugging it here, because it is an excellent collection of essays on faith (and surrender) and also – because that’s what friends DO. I believe in his work wholeheartedly.
May it bless you as it blessed me. My review of the book is below, and here is the link on Amazon, if you are so inclined:
Author Chris Canuel writes in his latest book, Ruminations, that if he had to sum up Christianity in two words, they would be surrender, and Jesus (no necessarily in that order.) He shares his heart transparently about each of those subjects, and his struggles to do the first in order to get to know the second.
Canuel addresses the foibles of faulty human nature, when it comes to learning to be content (no matter what the circumstance) as the Apostle Paul addressed in Phillipians. In his ruminating, the author shares, “When things are going great, when I have plenty, when life just doesn’t seem like it can get much better, I get prideful. My mind tends to wander from God. Even in my Spiritual Life, it seems that even as I am focusing on God, there is a strong ‘me’ element that I am seeking to show off … Look how blessed I am! Look how much I love the Lord! Check out how awesome my life is! … this, in itself, is not bad, but most times I think I am doing it in order to puff myself up, rather than glorify God.”
That’s so relatable. I understand that low-grade discontent so well.
In these essays, Canuel shares intimate details of his life, in order to know Jesus more intimately – and to share with a hurting world that there is hope. The transparency of his ruminations inspire, because they so often made me think, “Whew! I thought I was the only Christian who has felt like that!”
That’s the great thing about believers who are willing to be honest about their faith, their walk … their true ruminations. They chisel away at the boulder of Christian Perfectness in their own lives until they separate the rubble from their true likeness. After all the chiseling, the world might recognize the face of Jesus in what was formerly pretty stone-like.
In the end, Canuel reminds us that we have an antidote to discontent; we just have to remember to pick it up continually.
“Go back to this truth,” he writes, of the Word. “Go back to these passages, these pages, this glorious book that we call the Bible. Go back to it often. Reflect on it, pray over it, and let us always remember … the answer is Christ.”
There’s that surrender thing again. And always, there’s Jesus. – Jana Greene