1. First, I need to thank all of you. The God of the Mundane was written because so many of you, my readers, read that initial post and for some reason kept reading. For a book with no formal endorsements, the book has done far better than we expected at this point. No one is gonna get rich, but we’ve been nothing but encouraged by the reception. Your promotion and enthusiasm is a huge part of that.
2. A number of folks have asked why I haven’t blogged in a while. The answer is complicated but I guess you can just scratch it up to me not wanting to. Life’s been busy and the release of the book coupled with the strangeness of working in a bank while all this going on wears me out. But starting with this here post I’ll try and get a post or two out a week.
3. Reception to the book has been almost universally positive. (Everyone else is either ignorant of it’s existence or ignoring it altogether. I’ll take it.) But one criticism I’ve heard is that the book is not long enough. My only response is – a short book should always be short.
4. A quiet life is not a silent life.
5. One reader of the book asked a great question, “Can one yearn to connect with others w/o yearning to gain some sort of fame or praise?” I think they can. But the question is loaded with lots of implications for me right now. Rich Mullins once said, “Applause is addictive.” It’s true. I feel it down to the depths of my own soul. But there is a person connected to those hands clapping. A person with a story full of joys and concerns and failures and fears and triumphs. The key, I guess, is to put my shoulder into the applause and push through it till I’m thankful, not just for the gift of applause but that the book has helped them. And then try and listen to as many of those stories as possible.
6. The book was released a month ago today. And I’ve enjoyed just about every moment. But the two weeks before it was available I was a nervous wreck. I don’t always sleep well anyway. The banking job, you know. But those two weeks, I really struggled. The one thing grounding me was our collision course with membership to a church we had been visiting. The sermons and sacrament did far more for me than anything. I lacked sleep but I needed peace.
7. A friend of mine was surprised to see his name mentioned in the acknowledgements. How could I not acknowledge him and so many others? This book was written in the company of friends, discussing the blog posts and dreaming with them and them encouraging me and laughing with me and at me and thank God, keeping me humble. Their affection for the book makes it worth it.
8. I did not formally acknowledge the Radical movement or Francis Chan or DWYL with a purpose. These are just our generation’s manifestations of a timeless temptation. But most people have picked up the book’s attention to their general direction. My hope is this book will have some staying power and will be relevant in 25 years. I really wanted to “plant a sequoia” per Wendall Berry’s advice.
9. You just cannot imagine the addictive tug of always checking your ranking on Amazon.
10. There have been a lot of great moments over the past month. But on evening, my oldest brother Bobby and my sis-in-law, gave me a singular gift, a framed copy of the book. And it wasn’t just any copy. You see, my Dad can no longer read books, because his sight is so bad he has to listen to them. The one in the frame was the one my mom read from to my dad. Their love of books and love of me joined together. It is pictured above.