I finished reading The Shack on our way back from Maui. It was a strangely long trip, so I had plenty of time. At first glance, I was certain it was the kind of book that I would not like. The back cover states that the book is about the murder of a six year old girl in some shack in the woods. But my dear friend Kathy said I had to read it, so I did.
There's a lot to like about the book. I really loved what the author did with the character of the Holy Spirit; usually a difficult concept to grasp for me. But Wm. Paul Young does a nice job of acknowledging the complexity of the Holy Spirit and describes "her" in a delightful and comprehensible way. I also loved the representation of the Trinity in the book. The relationship of the three is real, understandable and affirming.
What I take away from the book is somewhere between the thoughts of Wayne Dyer and Randy Pausch. I saw a lot of the "when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change" in this book. Truly, each of us makes a choice to interpret life's events in either a ego based way, or in a more universal, loved based way. When you can acknowledge that your role in assessing a situation impacts how you eventually interpret its outcome, its a huge step in the right direction.
Randy Pausch, author of "The Last Lecture" also talks a little about someone's attitude towards any given situation. He says that while you have no control over the cards you are dealt, the true test is in how you play the hand. In his case, he has terminal pancreatic cancer, and has decided that he will live each day to the fullest, and enjoy each moment as much as possible. While he is not specifically religious, this mentality seems deeply spiritual. His story is amazing.
So, we're not supposed to reveal the full story of "The Shack." It is good, and it is uplifting. I am glad that it was recommended to me.