Book Report: Adore

Adore: A Simple Practice for Experiencing God in the Middle Minutes of Your Day by Sara Hagerty

‘O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.’ These are more than mere lyrics to a carol we sing every Christmas; these words unlock a hidden world at the deepest level of our souls. Sara describes the act of adoring (“choosing from God’s Word a part of His character and His nature to meditate on, particularly one with which we wrestle”), and then provides thirty unique aspects, complete with passages, prayers, and prompts, to get us started. In case you’re less than enthusiastic about adding one more thing to your hectic schedule, bear in mind that all of this is seated firmly within the moments we already live but often overlook—doing the laundry, taking a walk, waiting in line at the store. Prepare for a whole new way of stuffing your middle minutes with eternity.

Some of my favorite quotes include:

He sees Himself in me, this God who can wade through my murky insides to find something of Himself and something of beauty … His pleasure in me doesn’t require me to give a peak performance or rest on false laurels from the self-medicated thinking that says, “Oh, you’re not that bad.” I come, having failed. And He still likes me.

Hope isn’t safe, but it is healing.

A soul at rest is a soul that knows a brush with God, that feels His tender gaze capturing the secret moments. Our minds are the earthside gatekeepers of those brushes with God.

He who made us enjoys when we lean, weak, into His voice. When we choose His words over ours, while not dismissing our words as childish or to be ignored, we see His smile lines.

If I can attend to the stillness and wonder I feel at a sun-streaked creek and trace that to the God-man behind it, I might consider that Jesus is beautiful too.

Desire isn’t mine to fulfill. But it is mine to carry, to cup within my hands and name. To steward by putting it before Him. How nuanced. My mind isn’t accustomed to catch and release, especially the things that are riveted to my insides.

My inability to engage with God’s Word throughout my day has less to do with the amount of free time I have and more to do with how I see Him. Or how I see Him seeing me.

Sara ponders an adoration-oriented perspective shift, one that especially resonates in my own life:

I once saw “radical” as selling everything I owned or starting a ministry or adopting children from across the ocean. These days I’m redefining radical. I’m realizing that radical is sustained worship of God, against the grain of the world’s distractions. It’s staying in the game, looking at Him when no one is looking or applauding or promoting us for it.

What a lovely but hard-to-swallow sentiment! The Lord is profoundly worth beholding in both the monumental and the mundane moments, but I so quickly get caught up in the noise that crashes from all sides—even from within my own mind. This is the second place I’ve encountered a warning against the spiritual danger of distractions over the past week, so I’m taking notice. If adoration is our best defense against the dazzling glare of this world’s emptiness, count me in.

Ten journaling questions inspired by the text:

  • Where might I need to grow slow?
  • What do I do with what I dislike about myself?
  • Whose narrative will set my course?
  • Is there a phrase, suggestion, or scenario that, when it happens, sends me spinning?
  • What tethers my heart to the Lord in hard seasons? in easy seasons?
  • Who or what in my life do I have a hard time believing that God can restore?
  • Where have I been working hard to protect myself?
  • What have my elaborate efforts to escape looked like?
  • Where have I been living as though I were fatherless?
  • When does my life feel like too much? too little?

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