In Love, Skip, Jump, the author, Shelene Bryan, tells the story of how she stepped out of her comfort zone and said “Yes” to God. She initially made a trip to Africa to assure herself that a child she was sponsoring through a compassion program actually existed. God used this action to transform the author’s life. Upon seeing the effects of severe poverty in Africa, Shelene felt compelled to do something about it. She began a non-profit organization that encourages people to “skip” something from their daily life, and instead, use the money they would have spent to help impoverished children in dire need of the basic elements of survival.
I liked Shelene’s testimony, her courage, her enthusiasm, and what she is doing through the Skip organization. However, I had a hard time relating to the author and her particular story. This was partly because she seems to minimize the fact that she was able to have such an impact because she is quite wealthy, has numerous connections with influential people, and is essentially a mover and a shaker. She is also extremely extroverted (she often threw parties for “60 of her closest girlfriends” at the drop of a hat).
Shelene is ambitious, wealthy, caring, accomplished, and connected. It seems that God made the author uniquely qualified to take on the type of task He provided for her to do, and Shelene has heeded the call with obedience. However, her book tends to suggest that anyone can do what she has done. I believe that we each have our own traits, experiences, talents, and temperaments that enable us to do the things God asked us to do. However, I do not think that everyone is called to do the type of extreme things that the author has done.
In this genre of book (the type that tell us to do great things, get out of our comfort zone, and trust God to do mighty miracles), the thing that I have never seen acknowledged is an acceptance that some individuals are called to quiet contemplative lives, as scripture suggests (1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Timothy 2, 1 Timothy 5, 1 Peter 3). If that was not so, how would the necessary daily tasks be accomplished in our neighborhoods, local churches, and communities. If everyone were always looking for “the next big thing” to do, nobody would be content to do the simple daily good deeds necessary in all societies, rich or poor.
I agree that we should all listen for God’s direction and move out of our comfort zone when called to do so. However, I think it does a disservice to those who take on common daily tasks, on a consistent and reliable basis, to suggest that they are not being bold or accomplishing God’s will for their life. The body of Christ is made up of all kinds. I love that we have the Shalenes of the world. But, I also am grateful for those who do the essential tasks of the local church and community, day in and day out, without the need for praise or acknowledgement. These people often Love, Skip, and Jump in their own way.
***I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”