Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Life You've Always Wanted

I have been reading, The Life You've Always Wanted by John Ortberg. It is one of those books that you love, but you hate it too. There is so much packed into this small book that it is hard to read more than one chapter at a time. The first chapter is called, "We shall Morph Indeed" and it packs a punch.

The following passage is so convicting to me. I read it often to remind myself what I want my day to be like, and what things I can choose to do differently. Prior to this passage he talks about the different parts of his life he is disappointed with. He says, I have a nagging sense that all is not as it should be.

Some of my disappointment runs deeper. When I look in on my children as they sleep at night, I think of the kind of father I want to be. I want to create moments of magic, I want them to remember laughing until the tears flow, I want to read to them and make the books come alive so they love to read, I want to have slow, sweet talks with them as they're getting ready to close their eyes, I want to sing them awake in the morning. I want to chase fireflies with them, teach them to play tennis, have food fights, and hold them and pray for them in a way that makes them feel cherished.

I look in on them as they sleep at night, and I remember how the day really went: I remember how they were trapped in a fight over checkers and I walked out of the room because I didn't want to spend the energy needed to teach them how to resolve conflict. I remember how my daughter spilled cherry punch at dinner and I yelled at her about being careful as if she'd revealed some deep character flaw; I yelled at her even though I spill things all the time and no one yells at me; I yelled at her -to tell the truth- simply because I'm big and she's little and I can get away with it. And then I saw that look of hurt and confusion in her eyes, and I knew there was a tiny wound on her heart that I had put there, and I wished I could have taken those sixty seconds back. I remember how at night I didn't have slow, sweet talks, but merely rushed the children to bed so I could have more time to myself. I am disappointed.


If you need a good book, I would suggest this one. It will change you.

3 comments:

Lennie said...

From the excerpt you included, it sounds as though it's a book well worth reading. Does every chapter punch you in the gut like that? Good stuff to convict us!

AllyZabba said...

yes, every chapter is just like that. which is why i love the book, but hate it too. chapter 3 is called "training vs. trying" and it is all about spiritual disciplines. how we would never "try" to run a marathon without first training, so why do we "try" to live like Christ without training ourselves. chapter 4 is all about joy. it is really a great book.

mcmoney said...

Geesh! Well that was a smack in the face - thank you for waking me up this morning.