I wasn’t doing well at all.
On a human level, the equation for “make life work” seemed pretty simple. And I couldn’t believe how much I was blowing it. In reality, I had fallen under the spell that Chesterton calls the great calamity of the riddle of the earth: I had forgotten who I was and the story in which I truly live.
And then came the rescue. Over a few weeks. First came a few (more) books on the training and tactics of the US Navy SEALs. And then a prompting to watch the Lord of the Rings extended trailer again and again. It was smelling salts. I woke up and recovered an orientation that had been lost. Something was righted deep in my soul. And as my hero Bart says, yet again, I became Dangerous for Good.
The Social Animal by David Brooks
“David Brooks has written an absolutely fascinating book about how we form our emotions and character. Standing at the intersection of brain science and sociology, and writing with the wry wit of a James Thurber, he explores the unconscious mind and how it shapes the way we eat, love, live, vacation, and relate to other people. In The Social Animal, he makes the recent revolution in neuroscience understandable, and he applies it to those things we have the most trouble knowing how to teach: What is the best way to build true relationships? How do we instill imaginative thinking? How do we develop our moral intuitions and wisdom and character? Brooks has always been a keen observer of the way we live. Now he takes us one layer down, to why we live that way.” –Walter Isaacson
Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians by James Gilchrist Lawson
Recommended by John Eldredge and Dallas Willard, this book is a collection of stories from man of ages past who have recovered the Ancient path. It provides story after story of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of ordinary people and inviting them up to an extraordinary life as they take their place in the Kingdom of God.
War by Sebastian Junger
In War, Sebastian Junger turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat—the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another. His on-the-ground account follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. Through the experiences of these young men at war, he shows what it means to fight, to serve, and to face down mortal danger on a daily basis. (Amazon description)