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This memoir reflects on key moments of the author's early life, from childhood to his entering seminary, that reveal how God speaks to us in a variety of ways every moment of every day....

Title : The Sacred Journey: A Memoir of Early Days
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ISBN : 9780060611835
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 112 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Sacred Journey: A Memoir of Early Days Reviews

  • Carol
    2018-12-02 03:52

    This was insightful, uncommonly honest, and beautiful. I couldn't put the book down, but had to, twice, before finishing the mere 112 pages (3 chapters called "Once Below a Time, Once Upon a Time, and Beyond Time").I will not share any of the story, so as not to ruin any of it for future readers; however, if you long to journey well, you will be encouraged by this autobiographical work which has at its core, an interest in helping others to know faith, hope and love in this lost world.I can't say it better than a review from Christian Century, "Reveals the ultimate goodness of things ... A book filled with wonders."

  • Rebekah Choat
    2018-11-29 04:57

    In the introduction to this memoir, Buechner says that he has determined “to try to describe my own life…in the hope that such glimmers of theological truth as I believed I had glimpsed in it would shine through…” because “if God speaks to us at all in this world…it is into our personal lives that he speaks.” Rather than attempting to reconstruct a perfectly linear narrative of his early life, the author shares word-snapshots, pictures of particular people and places and days, some of which were clearly momentous at the time, but more of which he realized only later as being significant milestones or turning points. He recounts, with candor, humor and the clarity of hindsight, events which shaped him and directed his journey through childhood to young adulthood; and in so doing, shares his particular perspective on many of the rites of passage common to us all. Reading these pages is, indeed, as Buechner puts it, “like looking through someone else’s photograph album…somewhere among all those shots of people you never knew and places you never saw, you may come across something or someone you recognize…may even catch a glimpse of yourself.”

  • Karen
    2018-11-20 05:53

    This is the most thought-provoking and encouraging book I have read in quite some time. What a writer. So many of the experiences (mostly "ah ha" moments, really) that Buechner shares resonate with my soul. I marked so many pages. I must read more of Frederick Buechner's writing.

  • Melanie
    2018-11-11 04:00

    The Sacred Journey is memoir, poetry and philosophy in one slim novel and I loved it! Buechner’s book is messy- somewhat disjointed feeling, and yet beautiful and touching. The seeming unorganized stories come together much like real life does… where big moments hardly matter and the small, seemingly unimportant, conversations can change everything. Buechner tries, and I think succeeds, in using his own life (filled with very real pain- like his Father’s suicide) to show the humanity and great journey we all have in common. His spirituality is not overbearing, it is honest and real, while at the same time rooted and sound. I found myself extremely encouraged in my own journey of faith because of this book.At first, I was a little put off by his over-thought and extreme poetic style of writing. I felt like he was wasting words and beating around the bush until, almost as if he read my thoughts he says “…I started to sense that words not only convey something, but are something; that words have color, depth, texture of their own, and the power to evoke vastly more than they mean; that words can be used not merely to make things clear, make things vivid, make things interesting and whatever else, but to make things happen inside the one who reads them or hears them.” (P. 68) and then it sort of clicked for me. This memoir isn’t simply a retelling of his major life moments, it is actually an attempt to explain and paint humanity and the vast array of feelings and emotions that entails. After reading that quote, I sort of relaxed and sat back to enjoy the ride and let the book just take me wherever he was going.One thing that is amazing to me is how optimistic Buechner is, despite the harshness of his life and his emotionally under-developed family. I found this paragraph particularly beautiful: “To do for yourself the best that you have in you to do -To grit your teeth and clench your fists in order to survive the world at its harshest and worst- is, by that very act, to be unable to let something be done for you and in you that is more wonderful still. The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed by the holy power that life itself comes from. You can survive on your own. You can grow strong on your own. You can even prevail on your own. But you cannot become human on your own.” (P. 46)Adding these quotes to my review do not spoil this book, as I could never convey the art that is found here by chopping out little portions, and I could copy down a number of other amazing paragraphs, but I will leave that up to the individual to read- or borrow my underlined copy, but I do want to end with the message that Buechner himself ended with. After becoming a Christian and later deciding to attend seminary he says: “It was a long way to go, and there is no question but that there is a vastly longer way to go still, for all of us, before we are done. And the way we have to go is full of perils, both from without and from within, and who can say for sure what we will find at the end of our journeys, or if, when that time comes, it will prove to be anything more than such a beautiful dream… Faith. Hope. Love-- As words so worn out, but as realities so rich. Our going-away presents from beyond time to carry with us through time to lighten our step as we go. And part at least of the wisdom of the third one [Love] is… ‘Never question the truth of what you fail to understand, for the world is filled with wonders.’ Above all, never question the truth beyond all understanding and surpassing all other wonders. That in the long run nothing, not even the world, not even ourselves, can separate us forever from that last and deepest love that glimmers in our dusk like a pearl, like a face. “ (P. 112) So well said, and more importantly, so true! Buechner basically promises that becoming a Christian is not the end of your journey, nor is it the beginning; it is just part of the whole of what God is doing in your life and in the lives of others. We aren’t done ye and this side of heaven, we never will be. Beautiful.

  • Matthew Ritter
    2018-12-03 08:37

    Buechner assumes that, "the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all." For that reason, he writes a memoir that doesn't fall into the genre's trap of overindulgence or braggadocio. Doing as he implores us to do, he looks back on his life to find the blessings he missed or half forgot. Buechner relays not only milestone highlights but also mundane lowlights and trifling no-lights that prove to be as significant in shaping him. He dwells longest on episodes that provoke him to reflect on more than the happenings. He's adept at extrapolating from specifics to generalities. His recollections of childhood are especially profound. The short book is laden with meaningful truths. Consider this nugget: "To do for yourself the best you have it in you to do-to grit your teeth and clench your fists in order to survive the world at its harshest and worst-is, by that very act, to be unable to let something be done for you and in you that is more wonderful still. The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed by the holy power life itself comes from."We read autobiographies to learn about someone else. Sacred Journey is that rare sort of worthy autobiography through which we learn about ourselves and are reminded of our lives.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-12-09 05:00

    Beautiful memoir of Buechner's early days. Tragedy and happiness are examined and treated lovingly as the gift they were. His lyrical descriptions evoke vivid imagery and sharp emotions."...and it is for all unknown ones (blessings) and the more than half-forgotten ones that we do well to look back over the journeys of our lives because it is their presence that makes the life of each of us a sacred journey.""What quickens my pulse now is the stretch ahead rather than the one behind, and it is mainly for some clue to where I am going that I search through where I have been.""And it is because I believe that (that God was addressing me out of my life) that I think of my life and of the lives of everyone who has ever lived, or will ever live, as not just journeys through time, but as sacred journeys.""There can be no real joy for anybody until there is joy finally for us all.""Never question the truth of what you fail to understand, for the world is filled with wonders." (from the White Pearl to Rinkitink in the Oz books by Frank Baum, quoted by Buechner.

  • Eric Wright
    2018-11-17 02:59

    Buechner looks back on his first 25 or so years and muses on the various happenings that shaped his journey to Christ. The journey is ill-defined, erratic, filled with ups and downs, big and small events, as is that of most of us. He is very candid about his failures and his fears, his family and confused aspirations. As such the book it probably reflects much more about how those who become believers without a dated crisis become true followers of Christ.The problem with Buechner, in more very jaundiced view, is his love of more classical language that bears the stamp of another era. He loves long convoluted sentences, extremely long paragraphs that make it difficult for a modern used to Twitter and Facebook and more punchy prose to wade through. And yet I found the book helpful and inspiring of reflection on my own life.

  • Donovan
    2018-11-17 09:40

    Just finished this short and wonderful memoir of Buechner's early days. He chronicles the sounds and words of his life - the simple memories that slowly pushed and pulled him towards the mystery of faith in his late twenties. He captures the tragedies of his early life and the small beauties that were found in there as well. He shares with us his heart and his journey and makes us think that we are not alone.He writes, "Listen. Your life is happening. You are happening. You back on your journey. The music of your life..." All of our lives are telling a story and we are all on a journey. Let us all pause and listen to that journey and story.

  • Megan S Spark
    2018-11-25 05:44

    "On All Saints' Day, it is not just the saints of the church that we should remember in our prayers, but all the foolish ones and wise ones, the shy ones and overbearing ones, the broken ones and whole ones, the despots and tosspots and crackpots of our lives who, one way or another, have been our particular fathers and mothers and saints, and whom we loved without knowing we loved them and by whom we were helped to whatever little we may have, or ever hope to have, of some kind of seedy sainthood of our own."

  • Jeanette
    2018-12-01 07:44

    Love the concepts and principles of his journey, and clearer direction perceived. But I am not a fan of the artsy, flowery prose style. It's decent Advent or Lent reading. Possibly empowering for contemplation toward a change of emphasis or direction in attentions from his life's example. It's old style lyrical. But I'm not sure that his young life would resonant much with the current young adult generation from the style of writing alone. Hope I'm wrong.

  • Andrew
    2018-11-19 02:55

    I've known for a while, originally secondhand and then with each of his books that I've read for myself, that Buechner is a great and profound author. This book is the one where I first realised that I love him as an author.From an academic standpoint, this is theology through autobiography. And in his command of the tools of writing, it is both beautiful and revelatory.

  • Rick Hamlin
    2018-12-01 11:01

    Succinct, profound, elegant, inspiring. Other spiritual memoirs might be more dramatic or longer or hipper, but this one, written more than a generation ago, still holds its devastating power. The scenes in it, however short, stay in the mind forever. Transforming.

  • Dayspring
    2018-12-03 05:54

    This was the first book that brought me into the world of Buechner. Each time I read Buechner, I am struck by more than his characters, reflections, and stories (which are also incredible); mostly I am amazed by his beautiful way with the english language.

  • Joe Henry
    2018-11-13 07:40

    Buechner's biggest first splash of literary work was a novel (A Long Day's Dying, 1950)...and a very successful one, by all accounts...and this 1982 work of non-fiction reads like a novel.When I read the text here, I imagine that he writes as if he were speaking...and speaking very well...telling his story in gripping fashion...in very long sentences (though not the infamous "run-on" variety, that you would say) and short...a mix, flowing naturally...cohesive. You might think, then, that having heard him speak would be a help in "hearing" (imagining) him speak the words of the text. What I think I found, however, is that having read his text gives me a basis for imagining how he speaks, should I ever be so fortunate to hear him in person. That surely would be a treasure. His writing grows on you, in the sense that one seems to get with it and get more out of it with more and more repetitions. It impresses me as classic, in the sense that I recognize myself often in his expression of his experience--and you or anyone might as well. It reminds me of what someone said that we as humans are more alike than we are different.For an introduction, here's his first paragraph of the Introduction. See what you think."About ten years ago I gave a set of lectures at Harvard in which I made the observation that all theology, like all fiction, is at its heart autobiography, and that what a theologian is doing essentially is examining as honestly as he can the rough-and-tumble of his own experience with all its ups and downs, its mysteries and loose ends, and expressing in logical, abstract terms the truths about human life and about God that he believes he has found implicit there. More as a novelist than as a theologian, more concretely than abstractly, I determined to try to describe my own life as evocatively and candidly as I could in the hope that such glimmers of theological truth as I believed I had glimpsed in it would shine through my description more or less on their own. It seemed to me then, and seems to me still, that if God speaks to us at all in this world, if God speaks anywhere, it is into our personal lives that he speaks. Someone we love dies, say. Some unforeseen act of kindness or cruelty touches the heart or makes the blood run cold. We fail a friend, or a friend fails us, and we are appalled at the capacity we all of us have for estranging the very people in our lives we need the most. Or maybe nothing extraordinary happens at all--just one day following another, helter-skelter, in the manner of days. We sleep and dream. We wake. We work. We remember and forget. We have fun and are depressed. And into the thick of it, or out of the thick of it, at moments of even the most humdrum of our days, God speaks. But what do I mean by saying that God speaks?"Can you hear his voice? What descriptive adjectives would you choose? Personal? Honest? Transparent? Worth a listen?

  • Alan
    2018-11-28 05:59

    Buechner, a Presbyterian minister, writes in the Introduction, “I think of my life and of the lives of everyone who has ever lived, or will ever live, as not just journeys through time but as sacred journeys.” He then sets himself the task of looking back over the first half of his life for “whatever meaning, of holiness, of God, there may be in it to hear.” So, The Sacred Journey is Buechner’s ‘spiritual autobiography,' a la EfM, of the first half of his life. I liked his project from the beginning—he is, after all, a great writer—but I was completely hooked when I really began to see myself in Buechner’s own story. (He suggests that “the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all.”) When he describes his concern for himself as the “hallmark of those years [after his discharge from the Army and return to Princeton], I can so easily see myself. When he says that he wants to be a famous author because, “To be famous, it seemed to me, would be no longer to have to worry about explaining who I was even to myself because what fame meant was to be so known that in a sense I would no longer be a stranger to anybody,” I hear my own longing to want to be known so that I might know myself. And, when he declares that, because of his discharge from the Army, he came “through the war [World War II] relatively unscathed when many a braver and better had not come through at all,” I am slapped in the face with my coming through the ‘90s and AIDS relatively unscathed when many better than I didn’t come through at all. His vulnerability in revealing himself makes me feel less alone in the world. He also compares writing a novel to life, finding that, like a novel, “perhaps life itself has a plot—that the events of our lives, random and witless as they generally seem, have a shape and direction of their own, are seeking to show us something, to lead us somewhere.” Wouldn’t that be great?!

  • Mary
    2018-12-06 07:52

    “Only in my middle age did it become real enough for me to weep real tears…and to see better…who it was I was weeping for and who I was that was weeping.” Beuchner has a poet’s gift, adding rich philosophical musings that are Biblically grounded. This is his most personally difficult, finally beautiful journey. I love this writer.for the books on this shelf I don't have dates, but I started my research in 2011 thru to about 2014 to gather an idea of what's out there already related to what was moving me to write.

  • Christopher
    2018-12-10 07:45

    I enjoy this short little memoir and its reflections on coming to a greater awareness of God, time, reality, relationships, and how to move through all this in one's imperfect humanity. The particular ways in which Buchner marks pivotal moments in his growth and development– often tied to family tragedy– was inspiring, leading me to consider similar turning points in my own life. A good book that I'd recommend to friends looking for an easy, engaging, yet deep encouragement to consider anew their own life journey.

  • Hannah A.
    2018-11-18 04:46

    While reading Buechner's memoir, I couldn't help but think of the life events and odd memories that have shaped my faith; that continue to shape my view of God and the world. We each have a unique story to tell and Buechner, in telling his, reminds us to consider the stories of others and discover how we can be so different and yet so alike.

  • Sharon Archer
    2018-11-21 09:56

    A most painfully honest account of his early life...

  • Laura Luzzi
    2018-11-20 03:52

    I love the way this man writes and I loved this book. It was great and we are all on our own sacred journey. Need to read more of his books.

  • Kiki
    2018-11-21 08:40

    Buechner writes in extremely inviting prose, and the memoirs of his life are touching, relatable, and at times heart breaking. Really well-written.

  • Kim Buchanan
    2018-11-11 10:53

    The first installment of Buechner's autobiography...it takes him from birth up to his call to ministry. Includes lots of good quotes (see below) about the nature of memoir.There's not a whole lot of God in this first volume...Buechner is finding his way. A very good beginning, though. Buechner writes so well! Can't wait to read the rest.Quotes:"About ten years ago I gave a set of lectures at Harvard in which I made the observation that all theology, like all fiction, is at its heart authobiography, and that what a theologian is doing essentially is examining as honestly as he can the rough-and-tumble of his own experience with all its ups and downs, its mysteries and loose ends, and expressing in logical, abstract terms the truths about human life and about God that he believes he has found implicit there." (1)"What I propose to do now is to try listening to my life as a whole, or at least to certain key moments of the first half of my life thus far, for whatever of meaning, of holiness, of God, there may be in it to hear. My assumption is that the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of us all." (6)"For Adam and Eve, time started with their expulsion from the garden. For me, it started with the opening of a door. For all the sons and daughters of Eve, it starts at whatever moment it is at which the unthinking and timeless innocence of childhood ends, which may be either a dramatic moment, as it was for me, or a moment or series of moments so subtle and undramatic that we scarcely recognize them. But one way or another the journey through time starts for us all, and for all of us, too, that journey is in at least one sense the same journey because what it is primarily, I think, is a journey IN SEARCH. Each must say for himself what he searches for, and there will be as many answers as there are searchers, but perhaps there are certain general answers that will do for us all. We search for a self to be. We search for other selves to love. We search for work to do. And since even when to one degree or another we find these things, we find also that there is still something crucial missing which we have not found, we search for that unfound thing, too, even though we do not know its name or where it is to be found or even if it is to be found at all." (58)"On All Saints' Day, it is not just the saints of the church that we should remember in our prayers, but all the foolish ones and wise ones, the shy ones and overbearing ones, the broken ones and whole ones, the despots and tosspots and crackpots of our lives who, one way or another, have been our particular fathers and mothers and saints, and whom we loved without knowing we loved them and by whom we were helped to whatever little we may have, or ever hope to have, of some kind of seedy sainthood of our own." (74)"Listen. Your life is happening. You are happening." "A journey, years long, has brought each of you through thick and thin to this moment in time as mine has also brought me. Think back on that journey. Listen back to the sounds and sweet airs of your journey that give delight and hurt not and to those too that give no delight at all and hurt like Hell. "Be not affeard." The music of your life is subtle and elusive and like no other--not a song with words but a song without words, a singing, clattering music to gladden the heart or turn the heart to stone, to haunt you perhaps with echoes of a vaster, farther music of which it is part" (77)"In the long run, there can be no real joy for anybody until there is joy finally for us all." (97)

  • Melanie
    2018-11-26 10:34

    "All theology, like all fiction, is at its heart autobiography, and that what a theologian is doing essentially is examining as honestly as he can the rough-and-tumble of his own experiences with all its ups and downs, its mysteries and loose ends...I determined to try and describe my own life as evocatively and candidly as I could in the hope that such glimmers of theological truth as I believed I had glimpsed in it would shine through my description more or less on their own. It seemed to me then, and seems to me still, that if God speaks to us at all in this world, if God speaks anywhere, it is into our personal lives that he speaks" (p. 1)."A crazy, holy grace I have called it. Crazy because whoever could have predicted it? Who can ever foresee the crazy how and when and where of a grace that wells up out of the lostness and pain of the world and of our own inner worlds? And holy because these moments of grace come ultimately from farther away than Oz and deeper down than doom, holy because they heal and hallow. 'For all thy blessings, known and unknown, remembered and forgotten, we give thee thanks,' runs an old prayer, and it is for the all but unknown ones and the more than half-forgotten ones that we do well to look back over the journeys of our lives because it is their presence that makes the life of each of us a sacred journey" (p. 57)."And I loved them, those others, those friends and teachers....I sensed in them, as in myself, an inner battle against loneliness and the great dark, and to know that they were also battling was to be no longer alone in the same way within myself" (p. 73)."Listen. Your life is happening. You are happening...A journey, years long, has brought each of you through thick and thin to this moment in time as mine has also brought me....Listen back to the sounds and sweet airs of your journey that give delight and hurt not and to those too that give no delight at all and hurt like Hell. Be not affeard. The music of your life is subtle and elusive and like no other...to haunt you perhaps with the echoes of a vaster, farther music of which it is a part....We cannot live our lives constantly looking back, listening back, lest we be turned to pillars of longing and regret, but to live without listening at all is to live deaf to the fullness of the music" (p. 77-78)."What I felt was something better and truer than what I was, or than I am, and it happened, as perhaps all such things do, as a gift" (p. 97).

  • Mary
    2018-11-11 06:42

    I almost brought this book back to the library after reading several pages of Buechner's long paragraphs and rather complicated, flowery prose. I am glad I stuck with it. It's not a linear autobiography but instead a series of childhood memories of people and places and feelings from a boy who liked rain and books. Buechner recalls his father's death in a way which made me think of Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking when in a moment one's life changes completely. He tells of it in such an understated way that it is all the more painful to read. He tells of his sacred journey towards a faith and his vocation as an author. He is almost apologetic about saying that what he "found finally was Christ." He is certain of his being "born again," and yet he expresses that "who can say for sure what we will find at the end of our journey or if... it will prove to be anything more than such a beautiful dream such as Caliban dreamed."I found this statement in a Princeton Alumni publication in 2012: Instead, sitting outside on a July day with the Green Mountains in the distance, he repeats the mantra that has come to define his life and work: “Pay attention to your life.”“Because otherwise it’s just a lot of wasted effort,” explains Buechner, a cane by his side. “To live is to experience all sorts of things. It would be a shame to experience them — these rich experiences of sadness and happiness and success and failure — and then have it just all vanish, like a dream when you wake up. I find it interesting, to put it mildly, to keep track of it and think about it.”

  • Aunt Edie
    2018-11-25 03:43

    Beautifully written autobiography of childhood. Vivid descriptions of life in another era make it a worthwhile read.

  • Scott Harris
    2018-11-24 10:57

    Buechner's accounts of his early days make one appreciate the serendipity of life, where tragedy and fortune play together to lay the course which we all tread. The author's candor about his insights, even his lack thereof, make his book a refreshing reminder of the need to approach life with humility. The almost comical tone with which he forgets the once evidently all-important self-assessments of his youth also profess a deep willingness to experience life, even the past, as something that is dynamic and alive. The past appears not as a linear chain of events leading from one point to another, but rather as series of photographs whose meaning is not fixed in the moment of their taking but rather in the moments of their viewing. HIs sense of divine presence, apparently experienced as deeply hidden, is nevertheless tangible. Buechner's subtlety will inevitably capture many audiences, will invite them to revisit their own lives and, perhaps, to see the hand of God at work therein.

  • Joy
    2018-12-12 08:57

    Buechner is a favorite Christian author, so I suppose his writings will always get five stars. He is so warm, wise, unpretentious, open-hearted, and honest. This was a biography of his early life. He even reminds me of a favorite novelist, Parker, when he says, "I knew weather of all kinds, and of all kinds loved rain best and always have." I hope he's gotten to enjoy lots of Florida summer afternoon thunderstorms. "More than anything, I think I loved rain for the power it had to make indoors seem snugger and safe and a place to find refuge in from everything outdoors that was un-home, unsafe. I loved rain for making home seem home more deeply, and I suspect that is why, from as far back as I can remember, I also loved those books I read and the people I met in them and they worlds they opened up to me."Well, that doesn't tell much about Buechner's childhood or his Christian insights, but it does give an example of his good writing and why I like him.

  • Tim
    2018-12-03 03:53

    In his first of three autobiographical memoirs, Buchner reflects on his early years. An overarching theme of his writing is that just as fiction and theology are somewhat autobiographical, so autobiographical writings form a plot and offer theological insight. His first chapter is titled, "Once Below a Time," and retells his innocent, ignorant childhood - when his perspective was very limited. "Once Upon a Time" describes the years following his father's suicide, when he started growing as a more self-aware individual through the gifts of friendship, travel, home, and healing. These gifts pointed to an Unseen Giver. In "Once Beyond a Time," Buechner shares how during his years in college, the army, and his early writing/teaching career, he gained a sense of God, and an awareness of his own self-centeredness. God had spoken to him subtly through whispers, nudges, in-between times, and behind-the-scenes to finally lead him to find Christ, and His calling for his life.

  • Linda
    2018-12-02 03:35

    What a beautiful book! A moving, very personal memoir of one man's faith journey. I found myself crying for and with him more than once, both out of sorrow and joy. And his writing is absolutely awe-inspiring. For example: "And my friend's broken voice on the phone was a voice calling me out into that dangerous world not simply for his sake, as I suddenly saw it, but also for my sake. The shattering revelation of that moment was that true peace, the high and bidding peace that passeth all understanding, is to be had not in retreat from the battle, but only in the thick of the battle. To journey for the sake of saving our own lives is little by little to cease to live in any sense that really matters, even to ourselves, because it is only by journeying for the world's sake--even when the world bores and sickens and scares you half to death--that little by little we start to come alive..." I could read portions of this book over and over again. I plan to buy my own copy

  • BDC
    2018-11-17 05:44

    I found this book to be very unique. It is in someways a theology in narrative or autobiographical form. Buecher tells the story of the influences in his life that brought him to faith in Christ. This could seem narcissistic but it isn't. In fact it is a beautiful, honest, humble, and ordinary tale. I particularly enjoyed it because in our day and age we want the 'now' and the 'current.' And in so doing we are missing out on the voice of the.. how do I say.. the elderly, the aged... those who have lived a full life and can speak about truth and reality in a way that 20-50 somethings cannot. Only a old man/ woman can write a story like this. Looking back after 50 some years and saying what it was that altered his life. In so doing, I found he gave some very insightful thoughts about time and life. If you want to take a respite from the fast paced, sit down and follow Buechner as he remembers his sacred journey.