My seventh book for 2011 was Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, which we also read for our church book group.
This is yet another book that defied my expectations. Although I had that moment of feeling like a bad divorce joke, I stuck with the book. I thought I would not enjoy the section on India, but in the end I liked it a lot, particularly Gilbert’s rooftop experience and her realization that spiritual fulfillment comes not from denying who you are but becoming more fully who you are, or in my way of thinking, who God made you to be. “God dwells within you, as you.”
We had a very enjoyable discussion, which included a great talk about salvation and the assumptions some people make and apply to ALL Christians. Lifelong serious Christian women expressed surprise that there are other Christians who think non-Christians are going to hell. Have I mentioned I love my new congregation?
We also continued the conversation that started here in my comments, where someone suggested I could visit three more local “I” places for my post-divorce walkabout: Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. (I have to admit I’m hard-pressed to figure out what I would do in Indiana, but I’m open to suggestion.) We explored where in the world we would like to go for rest, recreation and renewal. I loved hearing the differences among us. I like cities, but at the moment, I would like to go back to the place in the Bahamas where some of my more adventurous RevGal friends took a side trip and got to lie in hammocks. You could come back for me in a week, maybe, but I think I would get restless long before four months went by.
And we marveled at the sort of personality that thrives on arriving in strange places knowing absolutely nothing. Amazing.
In a more general note about reading, I’m not sure why I’m keeping score here. I think there is an element of determination that after a really poor year for reading, I will do not only better but WAY better. I know I like my life more when I’m reading. (I also decided, as I worked backward through posts from my old blog, not to move all the book reviews. I’ve saved it all to my computer, but I just can’t re-post everything.)