John Cusack, Jesus Calling and Kashi Bars?
Sarah Young published Jesus Calling in 2004. The only material possession I still have from 2004 is my one person kayak. Funny right? Getting married and then buying a one-person anything. My wife is patient. Hopefully, her patience will rub off on me as I write a book review on a 2004 copyright.
How do we explain the longevity of this book after so many years? Well, by far this is what I hear, “I was going through a difficult time and this book met me where I was. It brought intimacy and comfort to loneliness and unrest.”
When I flipped through the book I found the same thing. Sarah Young really understands spiritual dynamics. For example, her entry for my birthday, March 15th, says, “Listen to the love song that I am continually singing to you. I take great delight in you. I rejoice over you with singing. The voices of this world are a cacophony of chaos, pulling you this way and that.”
Sarah (if I may), is saying at least two things and her manner matters too:
- There is always a choice between the cacophony of chaos and God.
- That the only way we will listen to God is if we trust His love for us. We all trust those who sing over us in love. Remember that scene in Say Anything with the Radio? #JohnCusack80’s.
- Then, Sarah tops it off with the first person to create the most personal atmosphere possible.
That is why this book is still around. Plain as potatoes.
Now, at this point all of my friends and loved ones are about to fire me for giving any credit to this woman. To them I say, “Let’s not accomplish good things with dishonest instruments.” You want me to open your Kashi Bar wrapper, but not with my teeth! We all long for this book to go away, but not by being dishonest. It is a fact. People love this book for those following reasons.
Yet, let me say, if you agree to that general principle, then Jesus Calling needs to go on the bonfire. Sarah Young seeks to accomplish good things, and folks are having good experiences, but the instrument of first person narration and receiving messages from Jesus are the teeth on my Kashi Bar wrapper.
To be even more lucid, the end does not justify the means. We all want our children to show their manners at the table, but we may not achieve that goal through abusive behavior. We all want to plan when we have children, but not through the instrument of abortion. We all want communion with Jesus and comfort, but not by someone speaking as if God, or promoting the insufficiency of Scripture, or endorsing practices that God does not endorse, or mimicking occult practices, or generating confusion.
Let me end by addressing those of you who are more progressive than me. Kathy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian won’t even put Jesus Calling on her Redeemer’s resource table (mic drop).