AUG 30, 2017 Devotional: “Your End of Summer Reading List”

The title of this week’s devotional might seem odd.  Most people get recommended book reading lists at the beginning of the summer…..not the final week of the season!  And, admittedly, me recommending any books for reading is a little bit of a misnomer since I rarely can pick up a book and get through it, cover-to-cover.  I’ve had more than enough people give me book recommendations of their; probably enough recommendations to fill the shelves of my own personal home library.

Strangely enough, this week I am going to share three book titles with you.  Full transparency….I haven’t read either of them….yet.  I’m going to ask for prayers right out of the gate this week, because I’d like the energy and motivation to actually get through reading all three of them in the next few months!

One book, I’ve ordered from Amazon and it’s due in later today.  The second book came as part of a sermon earlier this week.  I’m hoping the second book will help me in both my personal and business lives.  And from the third book, I’m hoping to draw some spiritual guidance in living a more simple life.

Okay….so here goes my end of summer reading list!

First, Donny Harrison, who I wrote about a couple weeks ago in the story about Chester McCullough, sent me a text early this week and shared the title of a newly published book called Mothering Addiction.  The author, Lynda Harrison Hatcher, is my friend Donny’s sister.  The book’s description on Amazon says the following:

In Mothering Addiction, Lynda Harrison Hatcher tells the heart-warming story of her turbulent journey as a mother of a child who desperately struggled with heroin addiction–a story about daily tests, constant trials, and unending tribulations of raising a son who life has been derailed by drugs.  The mothering instinct is to fix, smooth over, repair, cover up, bandage, and, if all else fails, beat the crap out of anything that hurts our children.  We think we can control what they eat, what they wear, their school, their friends.  Then addiction lumbers in, sniffs the air for signs of weakness, licks its chops, sharpens its claws, and terrorizes us before knocking us flat and ripping our hearts out.

I ordered this book for a couple reasons.  Donny took the time to mention it to me….and when your good friends share something important to them, you take notice and let them know its important to you too.  And second, who among us hasn’t struggled with addictions?  Maybe our own; maybe of loved ones.  Addictions impact all of us.  So…that’s the book I ordered.

Next, the book I heard about in a sermon came from Rev. Millie Synder of Myers Park Presbyterian Church here in Charlotte.  Millie was speaking to a large gathering of most of the church’s deacons and elders; the officers of the church, during a Session meeting on Monday evening.  She spoke about elephants and riders.  Ever heard of that analogy before?  It initially comes from a psychology book, I gathered, but more recently was described in the book, Switch:  How to Change Things When Change is Hard written by Dan and Chip Heath.  In this book, the authors talk about the relationships between “irrational” elephants and “rational” riders.  This book’s summary shares the following:

“Perched atop the Elephant, the Rider holds the reins and seems to be the leader.  But the Rider’s control is precarious because the Rider is so small relative to the Elephant.  Anytime the six-ton Elephant and the Rider disagree about which direction to go, the Rider is going to lose.  He’s completely over-matched.”  You need to create a path that makes it easier to be successful.”

Now, there’s a whole lot more to unpack in this book well beyond the summary above.  If it were that simple, then I would have read it already, right?  I will share the three basic pillars for influencing change covered in the book without deflecting your interest:

  1. Direct the Rider
  2. Motivate the Elephant
  3. Shape the Path

Good stuff that I want to apply in both my personal and business lives.  It’s been added to my Amazon “Wish List” for future motivation to order the book AND read it!

Finally, this last book recommendation is one I hope to draw some spiritual guidance from in the weeks ahead….and here in lies the “devotional” part of this week’s WAWA blog!  (See how I sneaked that one  in on you??)  The third book is titled, “Enough:  Discovering Joy through Simplicity and Generosity” written by Adam Hamilton.  Admittedly, this one is a tough pill to swallow.  Like many Americans, I live in a world of abundance.  I live in a world with too much stuff.  How much is enough?  I’ve thumbed through this book, and will read it over the next week or so.  Great, practical teachings that trace back to the Bible’s teachings about the wisdom that comes through prudent financial practices.

Did I mention it’s a tough pill to swallow?  Actually swallowing this book might be easier!

So there you have it.  Three book recommendations from a self-proclaimed, non-book reader, who is a wanna-be book reader guy.

My prayer this week is that we draw from these books in the following ways:  Seek help for your addictions and be watchful of those around us who may need help; recognize the situations from elephants and riders in our lives, understand how the two can work together if coupled with the shaping of one’s path; and finally, seek joy through simplicity and generosity.

Easier said than done, I know.  We’re all in this together.