I HAVE BEEN DOWN IN THE DUMPS.
I’m a sucker for religious humor. Continue reading “Disciples Book Tag”
I’ve been on a health kick recently (and not just because my antidepressants are making me fat.)
After reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, I retooled her basic premise: What if I pursued not happiness, but health?
In June, I worked on my physical health, prioritizing yoga, meditation, and meal prep.
In July, I focused on finding comfortable, work-appropriate clothing that looked good on me.
This month, it’s time for spiritual health. I’m spending the month of August growing closer to God by asking big questions.
I initially balked at my own imposition. I dreaded doing “intense” Bible study involving maps of Israel and historical commentaries. I despised most of the theologians my friends and family loved. What else was there for me to do?
Read books. Obviously.
Instead of forcing myself to read “spiritual” tomes (C. S. Lewis is great and all, but he’s not for me), I checked out books by authors I respect on topics that interest me. For once, I’m excited about theological exploration. This never happens.
Here’s my August book list, with brief explanations behind each choice:
Update: I couldn’t wait for Spiritual Health Month to start, so I dug into my book pile four days early and ended up finishing two (going on three!) books. Luckily, the authors recommended additional books for my ever-expanding list.
New books include:
Megumi is all right as far as characters go. He’s Saki Hanajima’s precocious younger brother who could pass for her identical twin and hangs out with her friends so often everyone forgets how young he is.
Occasionally, Megumi’s perspective helps the older characters move on and/or deal with romantic heartache.
Arisa Uotani, for instance: she’s in love with a guy named Kureno, who for one reason or another has decided never to see her again.
Arisa doesn’t know that Kureno has issues. Major issues. Issues that in America would land him in jail.
Tohru tries to intervene and speak to Kureno on Arisa’s behalf, but their conversation doesn’t go well.
Megumi walks in while Arisa and Tohru are crying it out and drops some wisdom:
There are some things that take a long time to acquire. Friends. Loves. Really… Nothing has been a waste.
I’m struck by how different things stick out to me whenever I reread Fruits Basket. Rin’s story hit me at a time when I felt I didn’t have any friends. I just graduated from college; for the past year, I’ve teared up whenever I read about beginnings and endings.
This scene with Megumi got me because of where I am right now. I’m jobless, single, living in my home town, separated from most of my friends by 160 miles, road construction, and some mountains. I’ve spent the last few months wishing I could fast-forward to the time when I have a job, or have moved to Oregon, or am rocking a sweet mohawk and owning my church’s “Fiddler on the Roof” auditions, because right now sucks.
Yet Megumi says what I’m going through now won’t be a waste. The things I want take a long time to acquire. I really want to believe that.
Megumi ends this section by saying:
Whatever happens in the night, morning still always comes. Always. Has there ever been a night that had no dawn?
Crazily enough, that’s biblical. I looked it up.
For His anger lasts for but a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.
Amen. That’s what I’m believing today.
Need cheering up?
Feast your eyes on the wonder that is Kakeru Manabe. He’s the funniest character in the manga and has some of the best lines (“IT’S A NATURAL PRINCESS OLD MAN!”). One of my friends is the female version of Kakeru and I feel so lucky to have her.
See, for example, how Kakeru comforts his closest friend:
Oh, Kakeru. Everyone needs a Kakeru.