I love Malcolm Gladwell. You might even call it a celebrity crush. One of my dearest friends turned me on to him a couple of years ago when he was a guest speaker at High Point University. In one listening session, I was hooked. After the broadcast of his interview with the University President, I purchased my first audio book of one of his many bestsellers, “Blink.”
[I’m sure avid readers have mixed feelings about audio books, but I’m a fan for this reason: you can experience a book narrated in the author’s own voice and with his or her own inflections and emphases.]
Since then, I’ve continued to read whatever I can that Gladwell has written. I was excited most recently to listen to his TED talk that came up via podcast as he promotes his new book, David and Goliath. He is a brilliant writer, but the thing I love the most is that he thinks and pursues questions from the perspective of a sociologist and a journalist.
I could go on and on about why he is my favorite writer, but I won’t. I will say that I have actually considered ways to possibly meet his sister-in-law, who is also a minister, so that I could meet him. I know – I’m on the verge of “creepy” there. I think a few talk sessions with MG might be all I need to move into the realm of writing I dream about … Reminds me of my 21-year-old self before I moved to MPLS to meet Prince. Oh, my.
Today, I stumbled upon an article by Gladwell in Relevant Magazine. I was immediately excited by the title, “How I Rediscovered Faith.” Please take a moment to check it out by clicking the embedded link in the title.
Gladwell, in his faith journey, recognizes something that I also learned back in 1995 when I committed to live a life of faith in Jesus as a young adult. He describes a life-changing experience that gave him insight into the strength of spirit in everyday people who maintain their faith in God. Like so many of his writings and interpretations, Gladwell brilliantly contrasts perspectives using very clear examples. His examples are usually historical, often provocative and, for me, always interesting.
As I recall my own life-altering experience that gave me a new perspective on how Christ followers are empowered to live in a way that honors the risen Jesus, his story example in the article challenges me. Hearing the stories of persecution of people of faith leads me to consider how the church today seems to see itself and our responsibilities to our neighbors. We get so caught up in the MOST TRIVIAL aspects of life as a church/club that we lose sight of things as they are … and the power we have been given to make a difference as the hands and feet of God on earth.
I haven’t gotten my copy of David and Goliath yet, but after reading this article, it’s in my online shopping cart.