September 23, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I ♥ books . . . that a perfect day always includes reading . . . and that whenever I have extra cash I buy books first and if there's some left over, food and clothing (just like the bag from B & N says that sits on my floor stuffed with some of my favorites).

And, I seriously doubt I'll ever own a Kindle or any other kind of electronic reading device . . . there is just something about holding a book in my hands, the feel and smell of it, the primitiveness of ink on the page that I just don't feel with those modern things. I know it'd be better for the environment (I guess) but I'd be in favor of printing on bamboo paper, and would even grow my own to contribute just to keep the printed book alive.

Just think, if we all grew bamboo instead of, 
say, evergreen bushes.

Back to the topic . . .

My oldest son, Scott, shares this love of reading with me, and recently we decided to read a book together and discuss it by phone (we live nearly 2000 miles apart). The book is Letters From A Skeptic by Greg Boyd, a chronicle of correspondence between the author and his dad that addresses the tough questions about Christianity.  I love discussing tough topics with Scott...he has a really, REALLY great mind and often challenges me on why I believe what I do, so I am sooo looking forward to this!

So, I cracked the book late last week and was immediately reminded why this book will never be purged from my library. You know how it goes, every so often us book-lovers must go through that painful process of deciding which books we can keep, or if we should just buy another bookshelf, or maybe make furniture out of the books we just can't part with but just look so darn beautiful. I've done all three . . . but this book is one of those that will sit in a prime location on my shelf. It's that good.

As is the case with all excellent books, Letters From A Skeptic is chock full of life principles. Here's the first one I ran across:

We become the decisions we make. 

I quote Boyd:  "The more we choose something, the more we become that something. We are all in the process of solidifying our identites by the decisions we make. With each decision we make, we pick up momentum in the direction of that decision."

That means that each decision matters. Each meal or snack we decide to eat contributes to where we eventually end up . . . healthier or sicker or stuck right where we are today. It's not about being perfect and always making the "right" choice as much as it is about realizing, being woken up to the fact, that we hand over the reigns of our lives and our futures every day so easily without even thinking. We let others decide for us.

I see a television commercial and am strangely, suddenly, out-of-the-blue craving ice cream...or potato chips...or pizza. After consumption, I sit and wonder what happened. Seriously? Am I that easily swayed away from these goals that I desperately want to define my life?

If we will just stop for a moment and think, "Which direction will this decision to buy this or eat this or drink this take me? Will I be closer to my goal, further away or stuck in a rut?" It only takes a second. And can make all the difference.  Then, at least if we've thought about it, we'll never have to wonder what happened. :)

How can we keep this in our frontal lobes? What do you do to remember the truth that this is your life?


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons


  1. How funny that the last blog I visited had a post in which the blogger finally decided to buy an ereader! My son is a voracious reader. Nonstop. His college application essay was even about it. But he and I have very different tastes. I love that you are sharing a book like that.

  2. Oh, I love that quote! I totally need to figure out a way to keep that in my frontal lobe, too! ;)

    I have way too many books myself, and I doubt I'll ever own a kindle either! My brother-in-law recently fell in love with his, but I just love turning a REAL page when I read! I think reading a book with your son is such a great way to start discussions! Love that.

  3. Its a fun thing to have grown kids who love to talk about different ideas and beliefs. BEST part of the empty nest!