"So, Jeremiah, if you're worn out in this footrace with men, what makes you think you can race against horses?" - Jeremiah 12:5
I just finished reading Eugene Peterson's book, Run with the Horses, and I think it was fantastic! In this revised edition, Peterson uses his own version of the Bible, The Message, when he quotes scripture. Surprisingly, not about running or about horses, Eugene Peterson takes a look at the life of Jeremiah the prophet and reflects on what it truly means to be fully and genuinely human. This book is packed with humor and self-revelation that helps us set the course in our quest for life at it's best.
Peterson does a great job of unpacking Jeremiah's life and highlighting the big events that took place that shaped Jeremiah into the prophet. I ended up learning a lot about the history and context of Jerusalem and the issues the Israelites faced. I also learned more about the different kings that ruled during the time of Jeremiah and about the Recabite community!.
One idea that was emphasized in this book that has really stuck with me it that we are all created for a purpose! There is a set-apart place that only I can fill. No one can substitute for me, no one can replace me. Before I was good for anything, God decided that I was good for what he was doing. I think that is a great daily reminder, especially in our culture that is centered around performance, it is good to take the time and remember that God has given each of us a purpose that only we can fulfill! God has called us to a life of purpose far beyond what we think ourselves capable of living and promised us adequate strength to fulfill that purpose.
Another lesson from Jeremiah that has stuck with me even after I have finished the book is to be patient and determination. Jeremiah didn't wake up one day and "boom" he was a prophet. He spent years and years praying to God and studying the word of God. He spent 23 years preaching it to God's people without them listening or changing their ways, but Jeremiah didn't give up. Every morning, he would wake up and spend time with God and everyday he would share with his community God's word.
All in all, I thought this was a great book. I really enjoyed getting to know the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah and there are a lot of lessons to be learned from his life that can be applied to my life!