"But often, in the world's most crowded streets, / But often, in the din of strife, / There rises an unspeakable desire / After the knowledge of our buried life: / A thirst to spend our fire and restless force / In tracking out our true, original course; / A longing to inquire / Into the mystery of this heart which beats / So wild, so deep in us--to know / Whence our lives come and where they go. --Matthew Arnold, "The Buried Life"
Saturday, March 3, 2012
"How to Finish the Christian Life" by Donald and George Sweeting
I’m not sure what I took to be the meaning of the title, but I was happily surprised that a book about aging, retirement, failing health and death (in its final chapters) wasn’t so dry as to turn me off. In fact, father and son team Donald and George Sweeting shared their wisdom about old age and finishing a successful Christian life in an accessible way.
Donald and George are more than credible to talk about the spiritual and connotative side effects of growing old and maintaining a Christian testimony in “the second half.” With honesty and gentleness, the father-son team investigates topics like the American ideal for retirement, avoiding the sucking black hole of time-wasting, and putting every ounce of faith in Christ to walk through valleys even when the soul and perhaps physical body, too, are enervated.
This little book contains verses tailored to the topic, examples from popular movies, and touching stories from the lives of such believers as D.L. Moody, John Calvin, Billy Graham, as well as anecdotes from the Sweetings’ own wealth of experience. There is much wisdom in this book about investing in heavenly pleasures, rather than earthly ones, debunking the myth that “old people” have to take it easy (proven false by a story of the dying Calvin being discovered in his bed, scribbling letters and research even though his health was flagging, so as not to be found idle when Christ came back), and coping with ailing health or financial problems. Even if you as the reader are not close to the 50+ second half of the race, being equipped in advance for the trials and joys ahead is never a bad idea!
I received this book free from Moody Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.