Book Reviews From 2020

Square One

One of my all-time favorite movies is The Princess Bride. There is a scene about halfway through the movie where Inigo and Fezzik are reunited:

[Scene: Outside a hut. Inigo is sitting, nursing a bottle]

Inigo:      I am waiting for you, Vizzini. You told me to go back to the beginning. So I have. This is where I am, and this is where I will stay. I will no be moved.

Assistant Brute:    Ho there!

Inigo:      I do not budge. Keep your “Ho there.”

Assistant Brute:     But the prince gave orders.

Inigo:      So did Vizzini. When the job went wrong he went back to the beginning. Well, this is where we got the job, so it’s the beginning. And I am staying till Vizzini come.

Even though Inigo was slightly the worse for alcohol, he gives some sage advice. When we run into problems—when we get off track—it’s good to go back to the beginning.

After his ill-advised trip to Egypt, Abraham returns to square one. He goes back to the last place he heard from God.

He moved on from the Negev, camping along the way, to Bethel, the place he had first set up his tent between Bethel and Ai and built his first altar. Abram prayed there to God. (Genesis 13:3-4)

When I seem to be on the wrong path, I must go back to the place I last heard from God. Perhaps it’s significant where Abraham’s tent and altar were set up. Between two cities:

  • Ai which means “heap of ruins.” It comes from a root word meaning “bend, twist, distort.”
  • Bethel which is made up of two words beth (house) + El (God) = house of God.

This is my life: always between two options. I can have a distorted/twisted view that leads to a heap of ruins, or I can live where God dwells.

I can have my way or God’s way.

I can have blessing or ruin.

When I find what I’m doing is a mess, it’s time to go back to the beginning—to go back to square one—to go back to the last place I heard from God.

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