Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World (2012) by Bob Goff
Summary from amazon.com…Bob Goff has become something of a legend, and his friends consider him the world’s best-kept secret. Those same friends have long insisted he write a book. What follows are paradigm shifts, musings, and stories from one of the world’s most delightfully engaging and winsome people. What fuels his impact? Love. But it’s not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob’s love takes action. Bob believes Love Does.
So here’s a personal story…I was on the eharmony dating site a few years back (before meeting my girlfriend Julie…we actually met on okcupid!). Anyways…I was on this site, and one thing I always did was look to see what books my various ‘matches’ were reading, and one book kept on popping up: ‘Love Does’ by Bob Goff. Why in the world were these ‘matches’ of mine all reading the same book, and thinking highly of it enough to include in on their profiles? I honestly never had heard of this book before, but I figured I better read it (in the name of online dating research of course).
I read this book while helping to lead a group of high school students to the Presbyterian Youth Triennium just last week. I noticed the chapters were short, so it would lend itself well to being able to pull out a book during the little segments of downtime we had. At first I was amused, then a little jealous, then tearing up, and then completely inspired. Story by story, Goff is able to bring the reader along in his many entertaining and poignant life adventures, as he ultimately doesn’t point to himself, but ultimately to the love of God in this world.
…And here’s another personal story. Somewhere along the line in my life… I became pretty boring. I can’t point to one time in particular (this is where my closest friends would playfully tell me I have always been boring), but I’ve noticed it here and there over the last few years—self-awareness will do this to a person. It’s kind of like gaining weight. When you’re young, you don’t think about it. Each year you may gain a pound…or five….and then one day you look down and you can’t see your toes. For me, recently I’ve looked down and noticed I’m having trouble seeing the fun in my life.
I’ve spoken with friends and professionals about this, prayed about it, and of course read books on the topic. I’ve come up with several possible reasons for this discovery of self-boredom. One reason is simply I’m getting older, and adults don’t have as much fun as kids. One reason is I’m a pastor, and pastors can’t have as much fun as others. Another is I live in a small city, and there’s not as much to do around here as bigger cities. I have thought about all of these possibilities, reasons, and hypotheses, and realized…they’re all EXCUSES.
This is where ‘Love Does’ and the Youth Triennium come in. Bob Goff writes about the ‘whimsy’ with which he lives life. Yes, he’s incredibly talented, gregarious, wealthy…the list goes on and on and on…but most importantly he lives with whimsy. The extraordinary thing about whimsy is anyone can live with this. As I read this book, I thought to myself, ‘I had that once!’ You don’t need a certain amount of money, or a degree, or live in a beautiful place. Living with whimsy is free; it’s an approach to our daily living. The even more amazing thing is that God uses our lives full of whimsy to do even more amazing things on earth. When we allow our lives to be used by God, then love is not just something we talk or read about, but love is something we do.
Every now and again I need this reminder. Every now and again I think we all do. The amazing thing: God uses some of the most unlikely people, places, and experiences to do this for us. For me, it was opening this book during a youth conference in the hot Indiana summer. By reading Bob’s stories, surrounded by the thousands of laughing youth around me, I was reminded of just how much fun life can be.
Thank you Bob Goff, and thank you Youth Triennium for reminding me of just how much fun living as a child of God can be. I can see my toes again!