Following are some of my favorite parts and quotes from the book.
1) My thoughts are not your thoughts
Neither are your ways my ways
For as the heavens are higher than the earth
So are my ways higher than you ways
And my thoughts higher than you thoughts
(God – Book of Isaiah)
2) Faith is about doing. You are how you act, not just how you believe. –Reb
3) My grandparents did these things. My parents, too. If I take the pattern and throw it out, what does that say about their lives? Or mine? From generation to generation, these rituals are how we remain… connected. –Reb
4) There is no room for cynicism in this (God’s) line of work. –Reb
5) God: Stop celebrating. For those were my children, too.
I think it is the first time I’ve heard that God might love the “enemy” as well as us.
6) In any conversation, I was taught, there are at least three parties: you, the other person, and the Lord.
7) When you come to the end, that’s where God begins. –Reb
8) Most religions warn against war, yet more wars have been fought over religion than perhaps anything else. Christians have killed Jews, Jews have killed Muslims, Muslims have killed Hindus, Hindus have killed Buddhists, Catholics have killed Protestants, Orthodox have killed pagans, and you can run that list backward and sideways and it would still be true. War never stops; it only pauses.
9) Reb (on wars): God does not want such killings to go on
Mitch: Then why hasn’t it stopped?
Reb: Because man does
10) ‘He sleeps in a storm’: If we tend to the things that are important in life, if we are right with those we love and behave in line with our faith, our lives will not be cursed with the aching throb of unfulfilled business. Our words will always be sincere, our embraces will be tight. We will never wallow in the agony of ‘I could have, I should have.’ We can sleep in a storm.
11) Much of what we called “depression” was really dissatisfaction, a result of setting a bar impossibly high or expecting treasures that we weren’t willing to work for.
12) He knew why he was here: to give to others, to celebrate God, to enjoy and honor the world he was put in. his morning prayers began with “Than you, Lord, for returning my soul to me.”
When you start that way, the rest of the day is a bonus.
13) Women: Poor child, you haven’t got a home.
Little Girl (with accompanied by her family): But we do have a home. We just don’t have a house to put it in.
14) Mitch: You’re like that biblical quote. What profits a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul.
Reb: That’s Jesus.
15) Getting old, we can deal with. Being old is the problem. –Reb
16) Mitch: But what if someone from another faith won’t recognize yours? Or wants you dead for it?
Reb: That is not faith. That is hate.
17) If the only thing wrong with Moses is that he’s not yours; if the only thing wrong with Jesus is that he’s not yours; if the only thing wrong with mosques, Lent, chanting, Makkah, Buddha, confession or reincarnation is that they’re not yours – well, maybe the problem is YOU.
18) Mitch: When someone from another faith says, God bless you, what do you say?
Reb: I say, Thank You, God bless you, too.
Reb: Why shouldn’t I?
I went to answer and realized I had no answer. No answer at all.
19) I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say
I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her.
When Sorrow walked with me
– Robert Browning Hamilton
20) You are not your past. –Pastor Henry
21) When you give, you get. –Reb
22) Reb: You know, we have a tradition. When you go to a funeral, you’re supposed to stand by the coffin and ask the deceased to forgive anything you’ve ever done. (He made a face.) Personally, I don’t want to wait that long.
23) Reb: Mitch, it does no good to be angry or carry grudges. It churns you up inside. It does you more harm than the object of your anger.
Mitch: So let it go?
Reb: Or don’t let it get started in the first place.
24) Reb: You know, in our tradition, we ask forgiveness from everyone – even casual acquaintances. But with those we are closest – wives, children, parents – we too often let things linger. Don’t wait, it’s such a waste.
25) Nothing haunts like the things we don’t say.
26) I am neither better nor smarter, only luckier. And I should be ashamed of thinking I knew everything, because you can know the whole world and still feel lost in it.
27) Because when the world quiets to the sound of your own breathing, we all want the same things: comfort, love, and a peaceful heart.
28) God was there before number one. :’)
29) The only whole heart is a broken heart.