I wrote a book.
It was harder than I thought.
I took out a loan to publish it.
I hesitated as I shared honest stories.
I didn't really have time.
I thought about quitting on numerous occasions.
Here's why I finished it.
I Saw My Grandma Die
I was driving solo from St. Louis to southern Minnesota in the spring of 2015. Grandma had a week left to live. She wasn’t eating. Crushed ice was her only hydration, just enough to keep her dry lips speaking.
I tenderly squeezed her hand. Grandma’s knuckles protruded like rugged mountains. She was in a semi-present state, drifting between coherent conversation and a distant land we couldn’t see. Along with my mom and sister, we spent the day sitting. Talking. Remembering. My last image of her alive is helping her into bed for a nap. Resting. Peaceful.
As I drove back to St. Louis through flat expanses of brown cornfields, I thought about how fragile life is. It was spring and I thought, “If someone lives a full life, they see about 80 springs.” Eighty times the fields are tilled and crops are planted. Only 80.
We all have terms. We are all limited. What do we do in this time? What will we leave behind?
Somewhere between Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, IA, I decided to pull the trigger. “Write a book.” The words formed in my brain and came out my lips. “Do this. Don’t wait. Time is too short.” So I made a vow to write a book on why the Christian message still matters.
If someone quizzed you about your core convictions, could you give a coherent answer? Could you do it concisely, in one or two sentences?
Every Christian ought to have a clear and compelling statement about who they are. But too often we stumble. We get a unique chance to share our heart and we say too much or nothing at all.
In an increasingly non-Christian American society, Christians hold to a faith that is more and more a distant memory. We have to be clear and compelling about our core convictions. “What do I really believe? Why does it matter?” Writing this book was my way of getting to this point.
Non-Christians Don't Know What Christians Believe
"Christians are closed-minded."
"They all act like Ned Flanders from The Simpsons."
OK, fair enough. But I wanted a chance to tell a different story.
My Wife Threatened Me
After 100 hours of writing, I almost scrapped it. But my wife said, "No way. You WILL finish this book." So I did. And I'm still happily married.
Everyone's Asking Two Questions
Who am I?
Why do I matter?
These are transcendent questions that apply to all homo sapiens. The need for identity and purpose - this need spans race, nation, sex, and language. I have come to answer those questions in two words. That's what this book is about.
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