In God in My Everything, Ken Shigematsu explored the paradox of the busyness of life and how we have many different things and events competing for our precious time and energy. Ken Shigematsu started the book off by sharing how he travelled to Ireland on a pilgrimage to visit and witness how the monks lived their everyday life devoted to their Creator. The monks built their entire lives on prayer, reading scriptures, and they lived near places where they could demonstrate the love of Christ. Ken Shigematsu has written this very book to encourage readers to develop their own “rules of life”. He referred to these rules as rhythm of practices that assisted us in creating and expressing our devotion to sharing the love of Christ to unbelievers, as well as, leading us into God’s presence more and more each day. Ken Shigematsu personally worked the long hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and he eventually realized that he had to make a dramatic choice. He cut down on his long hours and formed his own rules of life where he could be the better husband and father.
He has conducted a spiritual ecosystem in order to describe the many different rhythms and practices we can construct to bring structure to God being at the center of our lives. He stated and reminded readers that the word “rule” comes from the Greek word, “trellis”. Trellis “is the support system for a vive or plant that enables it to grow upward and bear fruit” (Page 21). He used this concept as a way to define the three diverse roots, “Sabbath, prayer, and sacred reading.” Next, he reinforced the different components into three categories, “relate, restore, and reach out”. He also breaks down the components that consist of the three categories and he assisted readers into creating their own rules of life throughout the chapters.
On my favorite chapters was about friendship and the loneliness that is becoming more prevalent in our culture. With all of the social media connection abilities and new technology, most people would perceive that we would be able to network and have more friendships connections. But researchers are beginning to discover that isn’t entirely the case. “In 1985, only one in ten Americans reported having no close confidants; twenty years later, one in four said they had no close confidants” (Page 82). So if the technology advances isn’t making in any easier to make friendships, why do so many people spent so much time on them? Ken Shigematsu pointed out that Biblical, God declared that it wasn’t good for man to be alone, as we see when God gave Adam, his wife, Eve. But many people still believe that they can be John Wayne and be the lone ranger and they can go through this life alone. He also reminded readers of the story of David and Jonathan and how they both were true friends to each other and this is one of the realist form of friendship presented in the scriptures. I know there are countless people who long to have a true friend in their life. A true friend is one that you have the freedom to bear your soul and feelings and you know that they are going to listen to what’s on your heart. They will also at times speak the much needed truth into your life. Ken reinforced the importance of cultivating face to face activities, for example, praying together, playing sports or going on an adventure together, and serving the community in order to build the friendships.
Another favorite chapter of mine was the chapter on sex and spirituality. Ken Shigematsu revealed that our culture has an erroneous view regarding the effects of casual sex and how many people believe hooking up with random strangers has no effect on their lives. Scriptures declare that all sex is meant to bond us to a person- physically, spirituality, and emotionality. Ken recommends that married couples need to set clear defined boundaries to protect their marriage and to safe guard their marriages from affairs. He also stated the importance of resisting pornography and installing software to keep your accountable and you can even have accountable partners to fight against temptations. And if you’re are single and not married, we can still express our sexuality in healthy ways. For instance, we can connect with our friends over a meal and enjoy the assembly with another person in a healthy way. He encouraged married couples to save sex for their marriage and for single people to abstain from having sex until marriage and yes, we all know it’s difficult to do in a world that boldly says the opposite.
I would recommend this life changing and enhancing book to teenagers, college students, and adults who are seeking a deeper connection and longing to have greater intimacy with Christ. I immensely enjoyed the vast rules of life presented in this book to inspire readers to construct their own rhythms. This book taught me a great deal about monks and their tactic of life and how they worship their loving Creator throughout their day to day activities. This book has valuable questions at the end of each chapter to guide readers into considering what rules they can build to worship God in their everyday lives. I especially thought that including other people’s rules of life in the appendix added more beneficial resources to the overall content of the book. It assisted me in generating my own rules to lead me closer to Christ. If you’re seeking a book that will assist you in being intentional about how you manage your time and initiating your full devotion to God every single day, then read this book and begin to custom your own rules of life to make your life simpler and more focused on Christ!
Here is a sample of some of my rules of life:
Attend Sunday worship and rest the rest of the day
Pray throughout the day – walking between College classes, before I start assignments, and in the car
Pray when I wake up and before I go to bed
Read a devotional each morning
Join and attend a small group that meets once a week
Watch movies, TV, read books, play the guitar, and hang out with friends and family
Lift weights three times a week
Swim in the summer
Cook four times a week
8 hours a night
“I received this book for free from Cross Focused Reviews / Zondervan for this review”.
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