Simply Contemplate: Born to Trouble – Simply Convivial

posted in: extra 8

wordy wednesday

I finished N.D. Wilson’s somewhat autobiographical (or, more biographical of his four grandparents) Death By Living a couple weeks ago. Though I liked his ideas, they were hindered in his presentation. The disjointed, staccato style didn’t take long to become irritating, which is disappointing because I think it masked his effort: to push the doctrine of Providence out onto the corners and push us to not only accept life as it is Providentially given to us, but to embrace it as abundance.

Being in Story Means Trouble

Stories mean trouble. Stories mean hardship. The fall of man did not introduce evil; it placed us on the wrong side of it, under its rule, needing rescue.

God is not an aura ruling auras. His Son has flesh even now. You have flesh. This story is concrete, it is for real, and it is played for keeps.

If life is a story, how shall we then live? It isn’t complicated (just hard). Take up your life and follow Him. Face trouble. Pursue it. Climb it. Smile at its roar like a tree planted by cool water even when your branches groan, when your golden leaves are stripped and the frost bites deep, even when your grip on this earth is torn loose and you fall among mourning saplings.

8 Responses

  1. Julia
    | Reply

    I had read a quote from this book last week and was quite enamored with what I read so I ordered the book. Now, though, in reading your quote I am annoyed by the sentence structure. Those short sentences are off-putting. Is the whole book like this? I didn’t notice the short sentences in the previous quote that I read. Sometimes impulsivity (buying a book from one quote) does not pay.

    • Mystie Winckler
      | Reply

      I’ve been prey to regrettable impulsive book-buying myself. :) Yes, at least half the book is like that.

      I think he has a great message, but his cavalier and almost stream-of-consciousness style hindered its communication. Actually, I even wonder if his message will be perceived by someone who isn’t already quite familiar with the Wilson’s ideas and culture.

  2. Cindy
    | Reply

    I feel sorry for you young girls. I never buy books on impulse. Just ask my TBR bookshelf why it is now double shelved.

    I think it is good to like books with reservations. I say this because I tend to be so hyperbolic about things that I am really proud of myself when I don’t completely like something.

  3. Brandy @ Afterthoughts
    | Reply

    How disappointing. More than once I’ve heard ND Wilson touted as the “next CS Lewis” and I wish he was but that writing style has got to go! It’s like a male version of Voskamp.

    (I can say that here without getting in trouble, right?)

    • Mystie Winckler
      | Reply

      LOL! I love it.

      He wants really bad (it’s too obvious, N.D.) to be the next C.S. Lewis + G.K. Chesterton + P.G. Wodehouse in one. I do like his children’s fiction, and I liked Notes; however, I thought that the style was to suit the “tilt-a-whirl” theme, there. Nope. This was even more dizzying and disorienting, with the effect of: trying too hard.

      Am I allowed here to say, perhaps he’s the next C.S. Lewis in that some things he writes are great and some things are meh and some things are just plain weird? :)

  4. Brandy @ Afterthoughts
    | Reply

    I guess I was hoping he was Lewis at his best but perhaps he’s the ultimate hit-and-miss author? Sigh. I didn’t read his latest children’s series, just the Cupboards and of course those children’s books to which the last promised volume was never released and I’m still bitter about it but whatever.

    I am queen of the runon sentence today I see so I think I’ll just go with it.

    • Mystie Winckler
      | Reply


      As a grammar nazi, I might have to edit your comments to comply with the standards of this blog.

      Yes, I am piqued by the leaving off of the Bible stories series as well. I haven’t read his latest series, either, because I hate waiting for new releases. :)

      His writing now is way better than it was when he wrote [incomprehensible] short stories for Credenda while he was in college, so there’s still hope he might improve with age. :)

  5. Brandy @ Afterthoughts
    | Reply

    I wasn’t aware of his Credenda history but that made me laugh.

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