It has been a long standing issue between my Man and me. He claims that when we travel, I read and he chases. I read three books a few years ago while on a weeklong vacation and from that time forward, my reputation for being a responsible on-vacation-parenting partner has been shaky at best.
This year as we traveled, my intentions were to clean up my act and do the chasing while my Man did the reading. However, an unforeseen opportunity knocked on my door while I was packing our vacation bags--Max Lucado appeared on my doorstep. Not Max himself, in the flesh, but in the form of his latest book Fearless.
With the noblest of plans I tucked this book into my bag o'books and tried to forget about it. The picture on the cover was so inviting with that young child jumping, carefree off of a boat dock and into the unknown waters below, flippers flying freely.
I wanted to read a book that boasted such freedom. I was intrigued by the subtitle: "Imagine Your Life Without Fear". I have a fear or two...and yes, I'd like to imagine my life without them so...I pulled the book from the bag and dove in, much like the child on the front cover! By the time we had "wheels on road," I was six chapters in.
And really, you would've been too with Lucado's language just coming at you, straight off the page, into your brain and wrapping 'round your heart. When I hear that a book has cut straight to the heart, I imagine it to have cutting points and counterpoints and be delivered with dogmatic fervor. While Fearless does get effectively to the heart, there is an absence of fierceness and of dogma. Instead, the author gently, but firmly takes the reader by the hand and leads him or her to confidently encounter fears of the everyday ilk and fears of gargantuan proportions.
Tackling the fears of disappointing God, of running out, of not protecting my kids, of violence, of death, of doubt, as well as many others with gentle humor and heartwarming stories, Lucado successfully helped me deal with my one or two or thirteen fears. Always leading me to Scripture with a gentle prod and showing me that Jesus can handle what I'm afraid of, Max taught me, "Feed your fears, and your faith will starve. Feed your faith and your fears will." So true.
One of my favorite chapters had Max in a fighter jet, while another dealt with Monopoly money. The chapter dealing with the "do-me-a-favor Jesus", the "Jesus-of-my-politics", and the "make-me-a-buck Jesus" spoke volumes to me as well.
I not only enjoyed this book, I benefited substantially from its content. It's been sometime since I've read a book by Max Lucado, but it won't be a long time until I read another!