1.) obnoxiously and excessively point out every piece of evidence that proves that Jen Hatmaker and I were separated at birth.
2.) gush incessantly about how awesome I think she is.
Because how annoying would that be?
Heck, I didn’t even make it past the dedication page before I started scribbling in the margins. “Love this font!” And what kind of brilliant, twisted mind comes up with “our parking lot looks like it was hit by an earthquake–and then patched up by drunken monkeys.” ?!?
(p.s. I love that I had already read Jen’s book, Interrupted. It really gives the back story for 7. You should read it. But first, the task at hand. But first before that, if you’re not familiar with this read-along thing, read this post.)
On page 4, Jen says that she ruminated on the whole idea of 7 for 6 months, letting it marinate. Well, that’s great for Jen, but we don’t have that kind of time. Just kidding. Read-a-long schedule aside, we can take all the time we need. As long as we’re truly seeking God and not just putzing and procrastinating because of fear.
I’d love for us to ask ourselves some of the (scary) questions Jen asked:
What would move me closer to God’s agenda and further from mine?
How could this be meaningful, not just narcissistic and futile?
What areas need the most renovation?
How am I blind and why?
Where have I substituted The American Dream for God’s kingdom?
What in my life is just too stinking much?
So, for today’s discussion, I’d love you to answer one or more of the ^above^ questions, or give me your commentary on one of the following quotes:
“I became a girl who loved the marginalized. I couldn’t get enough of them in my personal space.” (2)
“Excess has impaired perspective in America; we are the richest people on earth, praying to get richer.” (3)
“The day I am unaware of my privileges and unmoved by my greed is the day something has to change.” (3)
“7 will be an exercise in simplicity with one goal: to create space for God’s kingdom to break through.” (4)
“My children are young… It is not too late to untether them from the lie of ‘more.'” (5)
Or, if you’re feeling especially daring, I’d love for you to share a little bit of your right-now story. I opened up yesterday about the real-time struggles my family is facing, and the flood of love and support overwhelmed me to the point of tears. I think our right-now stories play a big role in how we’ll do with this untethering-from-more thing.
In summary: your response can include any combination of the following things:
WHAT TO DO:
1. Answer one or more of the six questions Jen asked herself.
2. Give a little personal commentary on one of the five quotes I shared.
3. Tell us a little bit of your from-the-gut right-now story.
4. If you wrote your own post (about the intro or read-along in general), link to it below.
5. Just sit back and soak it all in.
We’ll be back here tomorrow talking about some practical application steps we hope to take in the days/weeks ahead.