We all feel the need to slow down, see the beauty in life, and remember our humanity. There are many titles flying around these days, but here are a few I believe would be worth exploring.
Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go, Richard Rohr
In this book Rohr looks to the life and writing of St. Francis of Assisi to give us guidance toward meaningful life and relationships. Rohr has established himself as one of the premiere writers of our day on the nature and practice of spirituality (much like Henri Nouwen or Eugene Peterson of the previous generation). This book is a delight.
Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now , Walter Brueggemann
In this recent work, long-time theologian, Walter Brueggemann, reveals the significance of the Sabbath, not as a moral law, but as a way of life that helps us restore balance and perspective in our lives and society. Brueggemann’s book The Prophetic Imagination released in the 70s established him as a poignant cultural critic and prophetic voice on what it means to live for the Kingdom against the empires of the world. In Sabbath as Resistance, we see the Sabbath not as a tame or passive activity, but as a subversive weapon against empire and for the upside-down Kingdom we’re called to inhabit.
This is a short and quick read that will change the way you approach life.
Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus, C. Christopher Smith and John Pattison
Building off the idea of the Slow Food movement, Chris Smith and John Pattison invite us away from a faith influenced by the marketing and consumerism of our culture and toward a slower, more holistic faith for our individual lives and community.
Chris and John’s vision of church is a refreshing tonic to those of us who are burned out by a hurried faith and over programmed religion and church life. Slow Church allows you to take a deep breath, slow down, and take pleasure in God again.
Also, Chris Smith has a new book coming soon that I had the pleasure to read in advance. You’ll want to check out: Reading for the Common Good
Bonus: Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living, Shauna Niequist
This book isn’t out yet, but I anticipate it’s release as an important addition to the literature helping us slow down and live more richly in the midst of our every day, messy lives. Shauna is a gifted writer and has established herself as someone pointing us further toward what it means to be human rather than the false urge of how to compare better.