Life-Changing Books

When I think of "life-changing books," I relate it to Jesus' saying one must be "born again."

Seems t'me some people have (as the expression goes) a major "come to Jesus" moment where their life is re-directed. This is a very cementing event, as a rule, because it so profoundly differs from how they had been.

Some people, having been raised in faith by faithful people, never really have a need of being "born again," in that they were never mis-directed. They may experience a personal realization of dedication, but it's not so emphatic as the sinner coming to the light.

For others, it is not one sudden experience but many gradual changes, a series of steps of re-orientation in first one area, then another. This is a difficult path, too easy to slip back into doubting and less permanently cementing in attitude, especially in early stages.

I'm sort-of in all three categories. I was raised with Jesus, not deeply, but he has always been in my life. I did have a pivotal eye-opening, as I've mentioned before, when I read the Gospels through for myself as an adult (if 19 can be called adult), but I certainly wasn't utterly re-directed at that point. My "enlightenment" (education in the spirit) happened in stages over decades, due to many influences.

I suppose some might say that by this definition I've not yet been "re-born," but that's my thinking.

So, when I think of life-changing books, I think of many stages of change. And the overlap is heavy of my search for truth and influential books, because, after all, finding truth is not just a niche of one's life, but the whole of it, affecting one's morals, politics, lifestyle, and relationships.

I could name some Major Influences, but that wouldn't even tell the story, because some big steps happened only after a lot of little nudges. Some works stuck with me structurally; many were just scaffolding.

Any good book, or even a short story, changes my life, to some degree.

Sometimes, it's just a profound sentence.