That’s the title of a book I found lying on a table in the kitchen this morning. Here’s the author, Donald Miller’s note:
Sometimes I feel as though I were born in a circus, come out of my mother’s womb like a man from a cannon, pitched toward the ceiling of the tent, all the doctors and nurses clapping in delight from the grandstands, the band going great guns in trombones and drums. I unfold and find flight hundreds of feet above the center ring, the smell of popcorn in the air, the clowns gather below, amazed at my grace, and all the people chanting my name as my arms come out like wings and I move swan-like toward the apex, where I draw my arms in, collapse my torso to my legs, roll over in perfection, then slowly give in to gravity. My body falls back toward earth, the ground coming up quick, the center ring growing enormous beneath my falling weight.
And this is precisely when it occurs to me that there is no net. And I wonder, What is the use of a circus? and Why is the crowd’s applause so fleeting? and …Who is going to rescue me?
The first chapter is entitled “Fine Wine: The Failure of Formulas” and speaks into why all those “formula books” (such as “follow these six steps to (fill in the blank)” for true happiness) are bound to fail. “I’m not saying they weren’t trying to be helpful,” he writes, “I bring this up only because life is complex, and the idea that you can break it down or fix it in a few steps is rather silly.”
“The truth is there are a million steps, and we don’t even know what the steps are, and worse, at any given moment we may not be willing or even able to take them; and still worse, they are different for you and me and they are always changing. I have come to believe the sooner we find this truth beautiful, the sooner we will fall in love with the God who keeps shaking things up, keeps changing the path, keeps rocking the boat to test our faith in Him, teaching us to not rely on easy answers, bullet points, magic mantras, or genies in lamps, but rather in His guidance, His existence, His mercy, and His love. Personally, I was miserable before I understood these ideas, but now I am so happy I laugh all the time, even in my sleep. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. On to Chapter Two!”
That’s where I’m headed right now :)