Four books have captured my attention over the past three weeks.
The Book of My Life, by Teresa of Ávila (mine is the edition translated by Mirabai Starr).
1 Corinthians, particularly chapter 4.
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, by Jen Hatmaker.
The Lord of the Rings, by J. R .R. Tolkien.
I didn't have strong intentions in picking up any of these books. Two of them composed part of my reading material during last weekend's cabin trip, and one of those wasn't even mine (my brother wasn't using it, so I read it instead). I am reading 1 Corinthians simply because I hit the end of Romans and just kept going. And Teresa's autobiography caught my eye when I needed something to read and didn't really mind what.
It wasn't my intention that brought these four books together, but I can't say there was no intention. Each one has reinforced the ideas suggested by the last, and when I look at them all together, I know God's Spirit laid them all out for me.
Each one speaks to me about sacrifice and service, about letting go of what is lesser in order to serve what is greater, even at the risk of serious and painful cost. These ideas scare me and draw me, all at the same time. The characters in these books convict me and entice me to walk along after them, and I want to, even though I don't know how to begin and I don't believe much in my ability to follow.
But, the path still calls. A path of sacrifice and service. A path on which a girl might make a difference. I'm not walking there yet, but ... I hear it calling, and at the very least I won't pretend otherwise.