Book Review- Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert’s Search for Spiritual Community by Enuma Okoro

by Mark Votava

51dcvHcj83L

Enuma Okoro has written a fabulous book detailing the struggle in her life to find a sense of community while being moody, introverted and self-indulgent at times.  She brings you through the stories of her life where questions are okay, pain is appreciated, and letting go of the pressure to have everything figured out is practiced.  I was really drawn into this book from the start.

Highly recommended reading for anyone who is somewhat disillusioned with the church in North America.  Enuma Okoro teaches us to see all people as created in the image of God.  We are shown how to value our relationships through the mundane and ordinary experiences of our lives which is where community is embraced.

  • Patience, acceptance, and a willingness to see individuals for who they are

“Grace is not about being perfect or pushing others to be perfect.  It’s more about patience, acceptance, and a willingness to see individuals for who they are in Christ and as they stand alone, with all their disheveled parts messing up the pretty picture.  It’s so much less about ‘what’s in it for me’ and so much more about the transformation that happens in us and between us that help us spill our lives, somewhat clumsily, outside the boundaries we’ve comfortably drawn around ourselves…”

  • Freedom from the pressures to have life figured out

“Perhaps freedom in Christ is freedom from the modern pressures to have life figured out by a certain time.  And maybe it’s grace that will eventually help me to look at God’s flawed community; and, instead of washing my hands of it, I will participate in it…”

  • Living out the Incarnation in ordinary time

“We are called to live out the Incarnation in the ordinary time of our lives…”

  • Wilderness is part of the journey

“We can so easily forget that wilderness is part of the Christian journey.  The world tells us that wilderness time is rarely meaningful, more a result of depression or dissatisfaction with our lives than an experience to value.  But wilderness spaces can prepare us for inner transformation…”

  • Everyone is created in the image of God

“And because we believe that everyone is made in the image of God, we strive to see God in everyone.  Every day is a call to serve and love Christ in the people we encounter.  Our instinct as Christians is to love as we have been loved, which includes loving all of creation and being good stewards of the earth…”

  • Recognizing Christ in one another

“Because we are learning to recognize Christ in one another, we are also more susceptible to being healed just by being in one another’s broken yet holy presence.”

  • Living into our daily mundane relationships

“How we live into the daily mundane relationships in our lives says so much about how we imagine God and God’s relationship to us.  Our daily lives say tons about our embedded theologies, what we believe in our heart of hearts about God and goodness and life.”

How have you searched to find community in your life?