Ever since the esteemed Bluefishwrote the words, “theological books are the best books”, my brain has been ticking over what I think are the best books in the world.
Here’s my own thoughts: The best books in the world (for me?) are those that speak of the reality of who we are as humans, that remind me of what we are doing here, that make me see that others wonder the same as I, that express the questions, the whys and wherefores of living in this messy world. Books that tell stories of what it is like to be human. That wrestle with the question of what any of this world means. Some of these I have found in the world of theology (Mr Eugene Peterson being a classic example) but most outside. The most recent book that is doing that to my brain is: ‘Moondust’ by Andrew Smith.
It’s a book about the nine people still remaining who have stood on the moon. Think about that for a second and it does your head in, people who have stood on the moon. Look at it out of your window tonight and feel your brain imploding at the thought. It’s written by a guy wondering how you come back to earth after that, how you deal with having seen the bigger picture of Earth from above, and who wonders what it all meant, if anything at all.
There is something about the quest for meaning that connects inside me. Probably because I search for that myself, for some kind of purpose to this world. It’s good to ask that question and it’s good to explore all the other things that define my life, that give it meaning. The good things of this world. Friends, sunshine, the sea, the Lake District, cups of tea, good food, pubs and long conversations. Usually I discover that none of these things make any sense at all without them being shot through with the reality of the Maker. But it’s good to feel the questions without skipping to the end. To discover that the answer is more deeper and real than we could imagine, and to sometimes stand out in the rain with no answers.