Embracing Obscurityby Anonymous
Ironically, the trouble with me and you and the rest of humanity is not a lack of self-confidence but that we have far too much self-importance. To live and die unnoticed would seem a grave injustice to many. It’s all too easy to think we’re somebody if our portfolio is strong, there are a few letters after our name, or we’re well-known at work,… See more details below
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Ironically, the trouble with me and you and the rest of humanity is not a lack of self-confidence but that we have far too much self-importance. To live and die unnoticed would seem a grave injustice to many. It’s all too easy to think we’re somebody if our portfolio is strong, there are a few letters after our name, or we’re well-known at work, church, or school.
As pride creeps in, we are tempted to want more: more recognition, more admiration, more influence, more, more, more. Few have ever given thought to wanting less. That’s why we need Embracing Obscurity.
Putting the premise into immediate action, an established Christian author electing to remain anonymous writes about living and dying in simplicity, contending that true success, as modeled by Jesus, starts with humility, service, sacrifice, and surrender. Such a life involves mystery and banks on the hope that today is just a dress rehearsal for eternity.
When we stop imitating the world and instead choose to embrace obscurity, real life -- chock full of significance, purpose, and renewed passion -- begins.
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I was contacted a few months ago from a marketing company promoting a book just released on October 1, 2012 titled, Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God's Everything. The title grabbed my attention, but the author's choice to remain anonymous gained my respect and intrigue. Incognito blows in the face of everything writers are forced to clamor toward today. Without sounding too sacrilegious (because the book is surely Christ centered), this thorough consideration on personal obscurity throws a finger at platform building, Twitter numbers, blog readership, speaking engagements, sales; even the importance we feel toward how many "likes" we get on our crafty facebook posts. For me, the book is like fresh wind after three hundred and fifty five days of humid filled, back busting labor in an attempt to build a "name" for myself; a nemesis I've wrestled with... a lot! Although there are points I would argue with, this book has caused me to pause, wrestle further, question my own intentions and analyze my current walk with Jesus. For me, that is the mark of a good read and so for that alone I give the book four out of five stars. Wrestling and analysis brings complexity. Convoluted messages get lost, however, in this noisy world. All that I wish to say is too much to unravel within my average 500 word blog, so I'm choosing to spend three days in review of Embracing Obscurity. I am spending this time, not because it was requested of me, not because there is any kind of compensation (see disclosure at the end of my post), but because in everything I write it is my reader I have in mind.
Well, I think the name of this book honestly does speak for itself. And it is indeed a "stroke of genius" that we don't even know who the author is. It fits the very thing this book proposes--do not seek any glory for yourself. True humility is what is expected of the Christian, and this book certainly made me think. This is not an easy nor popular lesson, but it is vital to the Christian walk. I found myself not connecting with the book as well as I normally do, and I think the main reason is that this issue is not one with which I normally struggle. I'm not trying to hold myself up as one who never struggles with the issue of pride, but this is not as a big issue for me as other Christian issues (that I won't detail here). I also felt that some of the book was a little one-sided, but I understand why. So often, Christian books do focus on the "Joseph principle" and that suffering leads to reward. I think it is important that the concept that possibly God's desire is for Christians to serve in obscurity is detailed in this book no matter how unpopular that topic is. I love the fact that this is written as a small-group Bible study, and I think this is the best way to go through this book. Countless Scripture and personal stories are provided as evidence and proof of the blessings of living the way this book suggests. I completely agree with this often over-looked subject, and I think every Christian could stand to read this and determine how God would have him/her live. And although I do not currently struggle with this issue, it is good to bear in mind and watch that I do not veer off my current path and find myself looking for recognition in the wrong places. I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.