ím going to try a
Iíve been reading the most amazing book for the past week or so, called
and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance". In it, the author and his good
friend journey from Texas to Oregon, trying to find God along the way.
Itís kind of forced me to take a look at myself and the way I live my life.
I mean, Iím not going to run off to Oregon in a thirty-year-old Volkswagen
van, tempting as that thought may be. But I feel like, for someone who
calls himself a Christian, I really have no idea who God is, or how to
find him, or even where to start looking.
Most religions have some kind of figurehead. Islam and Muhammad (granted,
Muhammad doesnít actually claim to be God, so the allegory doesnít quite
work, but Iíll go on anyway), or Buddhism and (duh) Buddha, for example.
But they all involve a seemingly endless search for God, and a seeking
of his approval. Only in Christianity is there a God that not only comes
down to his followers, but actually lives inside them. And though
I count myself privileged to be part of this religion, most of the time
I have no interest in maintaining any kind of relationship with God.
It seems kind of stupid, really, to throw yourself for a loop whenever
you see a stray insect in your apartment, or have to sit through a boring
assignment at your job (just to take two arbitrary possible stressors --
by no means things that occur in my own life on a regular basis). One of
the things that I gleaned from the book was the authorís constant references
to the book of Ecclesiastes. To give you a bit of background, the author,
King Solomon, had basically everything imaginable -- Bill-Gates-type wealth,
ultimate power and the respect of his people, a harem full of women --
but, after experiencing it all, he basically called it all worthless. You
might scoff at his conclusion -- after all, if I had hit the Powerball,
I think I would be able to solve that insect problem once and for all --
but I believe that itís true. I really canít think of any situation in
which any amount of stuff would make a person happy. Even my marriage isnít
enough to make me happy -- at least not by itself. We actually have a tendency
to get into a funk together, which might make it doubly hard to get out
Solomon finally decides that the only thing worthwhile is knowing God,
and keeping His commands. Of course, thatís easier said than done, especially
nowadays, when Christians are ridiculed as being closed-minded and intolerant,
and weíre constantly bombarded with sex and violence from the media. Anyway,
I decided after finishing the book, that I am going to try to find God
in everything in life -- maybe not in the Grand Canyon or the forests of
Oregon, but in my own, personal circumstances.
This morning was not an easy start, I have to admit. I was back to another
less-than-interesting assignment at work, and on top of that, the equipment
I was using decided to break all by itself the night before. I was just
about to give up, start cursing myself and fall into another depression,
when a guy gave me a donut. He had been traveling in the morning, and stopped
at his personal favorite donut shop -- one I had previously praised as
well -- and brought me a vanilla creme donut. I donít think Iíd be stepping
out of bounds to say that I experienced God in the kindness of a stranger
And, of course, in a vanilla creme donut.