Just finished reading “The Shadow of the Almighty—The Life & Testament of Jim Elliot” as compiled by Elisabeth Elliot a couple of days ago. The book is a compilation of Jim Elliot’s journal writings, letters sent to his family and friends, along with context and additional text by Elisabeth Elliot.
I was eager to finish it and there were so many relatable passages that resonated in me as I went along, so I conveniently folded the top corners (sometimes the bottom ones, when the passages lie closer toward the lower part of the book), neglecting the fact that the book belongs to my sister who doesn’t appreciate a well-worn book as much as I do.
Anyhow, here is a compilation of most of the passages that struck a chord in me whose corners still remain folded. For the sake of future reference, all passages will follow in parenthesis with the title of the chapter, the page number, as well as Jim Elliot’s age at the point of writing. I was reading a copy published by HarperOne, with ISBN 978-0-06-062213-8.
Note: Upon review, some pages had been folded without clear memory of a distinct passage. In such cases, passages that resound upon second read are recorded. Otherwise, if no distinct passage stand out, the corners are unfolded and restored without record for now.
Continue reading “folded book corners”
Every moment I may be conscious and rejoice in the knowledge of God’s will. Obedience to every command puts me on the track and keeps me there. Decisions of course must be made, but as in railroad, so in life—a block signal, a crisis, is lighted only where there is special need. I may not always be in sight of a ‘go’ light, but sticking to the tracks will take me where the next one is. Understanding the will of the Lord is believing Him, that He will—in all situations where I have obeyed—make that way His own way, effectual for eternity.
—Jim Elliot, 1950, Shadow of the Almighty
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.
I cannot conclude this chapter without commenting again on Nehemiah’s courage. “Should a man like me run away?” (6:11). The words echo across the centuries to us. Like Nehemiah we live in days when we must let our courage be seen by the way we act and speak. It will help us, perhaps, to realize that true courage does not consist in the absence of fear but in doing what God wants even when we are afraid, disturbed and hurt.
This was true of Nehemiah. Long before the task in Jerusalem began, as he faced the question of making his first request to Artaxerxes, Nehemiah confessed, “I was… afraid” (2:2). He probably experienced fear many times in his life, but at the start of the story he established the habit that became of real service to him later—moving ahead in spite of fear.
It was in that moment that he enrolled in God’s school of courage. He graduated with honors from the same school when many months later he declared, “Should a man like me run away?”
It is a tough school. Thousands of leaders down the ages have taken the course. There are practical classes in opposition, in difficult circumstances, in loneliness, misunderstanding and tribulation. Some students quit because classes are so rough, not realizing their value. There are no entrance qualifications. Any Christian may apply for training. And the Principal himself is available for interviews with every prospective student, at any hour of the day. You have only to knock and you will be admitted into his office.
- Eat and drink more healthfully (give up sugar, eat more vegetables, drink less alcohol)
- Exercise regularly
- Save, spend, and earn wisely (save regularly, pay down debt, donate to worthy causes, stick to a budget)
- Rest, relax, and enjoy (stop watching tv in bed, turn off a cell phone, spend time in nature, cultivate silence, get enough sleep, spend less time in the car)
- Accomplish more, stop procrastinating (practice an instrument, work without interruption, learn a language, maintain a blog)
- Simplify, clear, clean, and organise (make the bed, file regularly, put keys away in the same place, recycle)
- Engage more deeply in relationships—with other people, with God, with the world (call friends, volunteer, have more sex, spend more time with family, attend religious services)
Gretchen Rubin, Better than Before