Leap Over a Wall
I first read Leap Over a Wall ten years ago. This was the first book I read straight through. I have re-read it twice since, and has become one of my favorite all-time books. In this book Eugene Peterson reflects on the life of David, uncovering how everyday Christians are spiritual.
Dr. Peterson shares 20 stories from the life of David on how he related to other people in his life - Jonathan, Samuel, Abigail, Mephibosheth, among others - his reactions to places and times in his life - Jerusalem, the Brook Besor, Ziklag - as well as David's lament.
We know more about the life of David than of any other person in Scripture. Dr. Peterson submits that in hearing the David story, we can better know what it means to live this human life, and live it well. He writes,
"Primarily and mostly they [stories of David's life] tell us that it means dealing with God. It means dealing with a lot of other things as well: danger and parents and enemies and friends and lovers and children and wives and pride and humiliation and rejection and siblings and sickness and death and sexuality and justice and fear and peace - to say nothing of diapers and faxes and breakfast and traffic jams and clogged drainpipes and bounced checks. But always, at the forefront and in the background of circumstances, events, and people, it's God. It's always God with whom we have to do."
In hearing the story of the life of David, we can learn how to center our lives around God more. David shows us spirituality for everyday - as John Piper puts it, how to drink orange juice to the glory of God. David is not the ideal way to live. We should not strive to live as he did - we would probably end up in prison if we did - but we should strive to learn how to bring God into our everyday happenings as he did.
I always liked David. I find him to have been a very passionate person. Whatever he did, it seems he did it with all of himself. He never committed only half-way. Too often, I find myself trying to be safe as opposed to passionate. I'll commit to what makes sense, generally. David wasn't like that. He lived like he meant it. And he was a man after God's own heart. Do the two things go together? I am not sure. But they may.