On Relationships and Reading Pre-Read Books

Donald Miller - Blue Like JazzI like it when my wife reads books before I do. Curiously, she underlines and makes notes about many of the same passages I would. And she often highlights sections I wouldn’t (at least on a first reading), which helps me learn.

Right now I’m re-reading Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz. I read it several years ago but was thinking about it again after reading Scott Berkun’s new memoir last week. Scott’s book is about his family relationships, and most significantly about his relationship with his father. I’d remembered Donald Miller mentioning his father–who left the family early in young Donald’s life–in Blue Like Jazz.

In light of reading these two books, I’m thinking a lot about my role as a father, a friend, and a mentor. I have lots of opportunities to talk with and advise students and graduates at LCU. With nine children, I get lots of opportunities to parent. But I think I need to seek more relationships with my professional peers (academic work tends to be isolating) and seek out a mentor or two.

Reading, of course, can bring a kind of mentoring. But I also need some relationships with people I can see and talk with. I’m grateful for Scott Berkun and Donald Miller for helping me become aware of this.