Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Nine Ways God Always Speaks by Mark Herringshaw & Jennifer Schuchmann

I am one of the people who yearn for spiritual peace but get instead spiritual turmoil. There have been times in my life when I was absolutely certain of my faith and of God’s existence, and His benevolent love towards me. Then, there have been times when I lost all my faith in a loving God (although I never lost my belief that God does indeed exist) and replaced with thoughts of Him being there for others but not for me. My difficult spiritual life, my quest for peace and contentment is probably my biggest struggle. It is therefore no wonder that I quickly reach for books such as Nine Ways God Always Speaks that may offer me some insight, something I can always hold on to, especially in times when I turn into ‘doubting Thomas’.

Nine Ways God Always Speaks by Mark Herringshaw & Jennifer Schuchmann is exactly what the title says it is: nine ways in which God communicates His will and existence to us. Each chapter directs reader’s attention to quite often very simple occurrences that might very well be in front of us all the time but we just don’t see them. We want to hear God speak to us and are so concentrated on looking for the mystical experiences that we don’t notice the everyday, ordinary events and surroundings such as nature or people we meet or we blatantly refuse to acknowledge that they are God’s messengers (even though they might not know it themselves). One interesting aspect was that God speaks to us via dreams. Dreams are still subject of many tests, analyses and theories and it was very curious for me to read about God sending us messages while we’re sleeping. Considering the serious and important premise of the book, I think that above all it was very entertaining and quite humorous. Mark and Jennifer did their best to convey the message of many people they came across by making this book very enjoyable and approachable despite the seriousness of the topic.

Was it all convincing to me? I’m not sure. Reading this book was a mini example of the struggle I talked about in the beginning. I would all of a sudden start looking for messages from God in nature after a particular chapter only to get discouraged after not finding anything that would apply directly to me. Some chapters would fill me with hope and others with complete despair. I want to believe that one of the ways God speaks is giving people like Mark & Jennifer a talent for writing and inspiration to write such a book as Nine Ways God Always Speaks. In turn, the finished product will end up in the hands of a person who desperately needs to hear the exact words that are written there. Who knows, maybe one of my blog visitors is such a person. I can objectively see how this book has a potential to open people’s minds and eyes to what’s around them and teach them how to tune in to the right frequency. Now, subjectively speaking, Nine Ways God Always Speaks added just nine more ways God does not speak to me. Sadly it did not have any revelatory value for me, only caused me to be even more discouraged. When I read about all these people, including the authors, experiencing the ‘eureka!’ moments all I felt was anger with a tinge of jealousy. It’s all nice and dandy for them but I have yet to find that crucial moment in my life where I feel the presence of God and which will influence the course of my life. I realize that I may be wallowing in self-pity here, but hey, I’m honest and I will not pretend that my life changed completely or at all after having read this book if it didn’t.