I want to meet Bob Goff. I imagine buying him coffee, turning my phone off, shutting my mouth and listening to his stories. He is a genius storyteller, because his life is full of captivating stories. One of the best books read in 2012 was his book Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World. On our most recent trip to Texas, the kids and I listened to the audiobook. Again.
I sometimes get caught up in books and blogs that wrestle with deep theology, with hard topics that involve hard words. They intrigue and challenge, and then I find myself getting anxious, scared even. It feels like this vague sense that I’m not doing it right, this life that God gave me. Sort of feeling that smart people know the “right way” to follow Christ and I just might be missing the boat.
Here is the thing about this book, though. In it Bob communicates the deepest truths of theology. The kind found in Deuteronomy 6:5 about loving God with all your heart, soul and strength. The foundational teaching of Jewish law. The kind found in Mark 12:29-31, you know that complicated heady passage about loving your neighbor as yourself. The kind of truth Jesus seemed to want people to know, because He actually said “THERE IS NO GREATER COMMANDMENT THAN THESE!”
As I read Love Does though, instead of causing unrest and anxiety I felt nothing but my head and heart nodding in unison a Big Fat Yes. The truth that life with Christ isn’t complicated. If you love him love people and do stuff, you are on the right track. Period. Choosing to love people by doing something, well now that is the hard part.
I’ve been studying and wrestling recently the in-your-face book of James with some treasured friends. Bob’s writings echo the truth found in James. “Don’t merely listen to the word. Do what it says.” I get that. As Andy Stanley says, you can’t just put something on a “To Do” list. You actually have to “to do” it.
I want to meet Bob Goff because he seems to be a “where the rubber meets the road” kind of guy. His infectious delight for life makes me want to live my ordinary life in an extraordinary way. Unassuming, humble, whimsical. He makes being secretly incredible sound like life’s greatest calling, to love others well like an adventure you don’t want to miss.
If you have not read Love Does, please order it today. Even better, download the audiobook. Here is just one passage that I couldn’t help but include. May it entice you for more!
“There is only one invitation it would kill me to refuse, yet I’m tempted to turn it down all the time. I get the invitation every morning when I wake up to actually live a life of complete engagement, a life of whimsy, a life where love does. It doesn’t come in an envelope. It’s ushered in by a sunrise, the sound of a bird, or the smell of coffee drifting lazily from the kitchen. It’s the invitation to actually live, to fully participate in this amazing life for one more day….Turning down this invitation comes in lots of flavors. It looks like numbing yourself or distracting yourself or seeing something really beautiful as just normal. It can also look like refusing to forgive or not being grateful or getting wrapped around the axle with fear or envy….I think life is like that banquet Jesus talked about. I think God sends out His messengers to tell everybody there’s plenty of room and there’s free food and conversation and adventure and a wonderful and generous host who has invited us by name.”