10:21 PM PDT, September 13, 2006
Though I haven't blogged about it to date, my next book, The Organic God, is scheduled to release from Zondervan in May 2007.
It's based off a spiritual journey I took several years ago. I had reached a point in life where I felt flat, disconnected from God. In bed, late at night, I would quietly wonder, Is this all there is? I was just tired of hearing what everyone else said about God. I wanted to know him for myself.
|So in Margaret-esque fashion, I developed my own game plan. I figured that if I wanted to know God the best place to go is The Book. (Have you ever noticed how giving someone a book is really an invitation to a deeper conversation, a more full relationship?) So I began going through the entire New Testament and sections of the Old Testament and writing down every verse that revealed something about God. Yes, every verse.
I filled dozens of pages--all by hand--in one of those inexpensive black and white composition notebooks. I recorded the things God liked as well as those he's not as fond of. I wrote down his preferences, his thoughts, and the adjectives used to describe him. I recorded his quirks (yes, God is quirky in that he can not be contained) and tried my best to keep track of his expressions of amazing love for his Son, in whom he put his whole heart on display.
Along the way, I found sustenance for my spirit. I discovered a spiritual discipline that breathed life and hope and a fresh understanding of God and his ways into my soul. And I found myself falling in love with him all over again.
That was several years ago. When I suggested the idea to Zondervan, they latched on. But there was only one little problem. After several moves, I couldn't find my precious, the notebook.
My editor encouraged me to use concordances and Bible software to recreate the journal, noting that it would take countless hours to recreate the journal.
But what she didn't know is that while the act of writing down all those verses began as an act of spiritual discipline, but before it was over, it had become an act of love.
So I did it again. I filled another notebook--this time a peach-colored journal that my sister-in-law had given me--with the same scriptures and many more. And the things I learned and discovered...well, they make up the background as well as some of the foreground of The Organic God.
The book is an intimate portrayal of what it looks like to hunger after God, to seek him, to hear his voice and at the end of the day still sit in humble wonder of who he is and what he could possibly do next. It's about stripping away all the things that stand in the way of our relationship with God--removing the additives, the artificial sweeteners, the processed formulas. Between you and me, it's not a book I wanted to write, but after much prodding and risking the scary exposure that comes with being vulnerable and real, this is the best thing I've ever written.
The subtitle, which won't appear on the cover, is Falling in Love for the First Time All over Again. And that pretty much sums up the book. It's designed to stir up the God-hunger and God-wonder in life.
Because I have a hunch I'm not the only ones who long for such things.
The Organic God--Coming May 2007!