I read the rest of Epic by John Eldridge today. I started reading it at Barnes and Noble last weekend when Leif and I were out on our date. (sidenote: I can't believe we're going to get dates THREE weekends in a row! That's amazing!) I picked it up on a whim, adding it to a pile of scrapbooking magazines I'd planned on leafing through. I read the first chapter and put it on my "to read" list. Then Cheryl saw it on the list and offered to let me borrow her copy! It's a short book, just 104 pages, but is well written and easy to read. Eldridge does a good job of making profound truths and ideas clear and accessible without getting too deep into the theological intricacies. I really enjoyed it.
Epic sets out to explain why stories (including plays, movies, books, etc.) strike such a resonant chord with us as humans. What is it about stories, with their villains and heroes, conflict and resolution, that draw us in? What is it that makes us see ourselves in the story and experience the emotions of the characters? And Eldridge's answer isn't anything new to me. It's something I've known for a long time, and began to understand better during my time teaching at Petra. But there was one thing in the book that I hadn't really thought about before, though I've been contemplating the subject for a while: Fellowship.
When we were thinking about switching churches, one of the main reasons for doing so was fellowship. I longed to build relationships with the other believers in the church, something that I didn't seem able to do at E-Free. And so I chose fellowship over verse-by-verse teaching when we moved to New Hope. I've never really considered the origin of fellowship. I mean, I know that God created Adam and Eve. This is what I have always considered the beginning of fellowship. But it's not. Fellowship predates mankind. Fellowship predates time. Because fellowship is something that God has in the Trinity. And I'd never really thought about that before reading Epic. The reason we, all of us, crave interaction with one another is because we are created in the image of God. He has fellowship with the other members of the Trinity and desires fellowship with us. And so we desire fellowship with one another, and with Him.
It's a good book. It gave me some food for thought. And it's a good follow up to It's Not About Me by Max Lucado, if you've ever read that. That's another short, but profound, book with the potential to change your life and the way you think about it. But Epic? Epic is a good book. After reading the first chapter I gave it 5 stars (out of 5) on Goodreads. Now, having finished the book, I still give it 5 stars. It's worth reading.