Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK"

Every now and then I like to read a non-fiction book off the NY Times Bestseller list. Notice I said non-fiction. I don’t read a lot of fiction. Yes, I read the Left Behind series; and I love to read John Grisham. Outside of that, reading novels is a rare thing for me.

Anyway, I recently read Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad about My Neck. It’s a well-written book about getting old from a woman’s point of view. It’s quite humorous as she talks about stuff anywhere from her hairdos to apartment living to marriage to purses. I know, I know. What in the world am I doing reading a book like that? Honestly, I didn’t have a clue that was the nature of the book. I just read a brief synopsis saying it was a humorous look at getting old.

Anyway, this is not a blog where I list a bunch of bullets that represent all my great takeaways from the book…because actually there weren’t many.

However, I was grieved with the ending chapters as Nora writes about death and dying. As funny as she was describing some of her life’s journey, the way she dealt with death made me come away grieving for her soul. She alludes to her Jewish heritage throughout the book. But when it came to death, she was more matter-of-fact and less humorous. She treated the subject as if there is nothing to look forward to on the other side of the grave. She tried to get a little humorous when she talked about deciding against cremation because that might destroy her chances of being reincarnated into something else (although she admitted she had no basis for believing in reincarnation).

If there was one takeaway from the book, it reminded me that without Jesus there is no basis for hope. For those without Christ, how could they write anything differently? They have no basis for hope.

I wonder how many people I see at Crooked Creek Park each day who don’t have a relationship with Christ. I wonder how many in the neighborhoods within a few hundred yards of our church don’t know Jesus. I wonder about the people I see in restaurants. I wonder about the people I see tailgating around us at Clemson or sitting around us in the stadium.

1 Corinthians reminds us that if there is no resurrection, then we have no basis for hope. Without the resurrection we are doomed and still in our sins. But thanks be to God that through Jesus there is hope—hope that death does not have the final word, hope that in Jesus I have life eternal, hope that life does have meaning, and hope that one day I will be reunited with family and friends who have gone before me.

As much as my hope is real, I Feel Bad about My Neck should prompt me to walk across as many rooms as possible and seek to engage people in spiritual conversations. I admit that I don’t know the author personally, nor anything about her spiritual journey. But from what I read, I believe Nora Ephron represents the hundreds who cross our paths each day who have not captured the joy of knowing, loving, and serving Jesus Christ.

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