Review: Chasing the Wind, by Robert White

Chasing the Wind, by Robert White (Word Alive Press, 2011)

This attractive gift book is subtitled “Finding Meaningful Answers from Ancient Wisdom,” and it’s a look at the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.

What does a small book written hundreds of years ago have to do with us today? Author Robert White says it looks at a lot of the same issues we face now:

“… the meaninglessness of wisdom, wishes and work; the futility—or chasing the wind—of desire and deeds; and the eternal and temporal curses and joys of toil, treasures and termination. As pessimistic as Ecclesiastes seems, the Teacher leaves us with hope. Only once we’ve chased after the wind and become weary of the meaninglessness found under the sun do we come to the end of the matter.” (p. 10)

The end of the matter, in the words of Ecclesiastes, is to “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” Ecclesiastes 12:13b, NIV*.

As such, the book takes an honest look at some of our questions and struggles, and works them through to a perspective that seeks God first.

Chasing the Wind is a short book, only 100 pages long, and it’s an easy read. I appreciated the references to the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas, and I loved the way Robert illustrated Ecclesiastes’ “all is meaningless” lament with a quote from the original Star Trek series. (Bonus for geek readers!)

This is a book for readers of all ages and experiences (the Star Trek illustration is explained, so everyone will get it). Each short chapter ends with a handful of questions for personal reflection. The aim is to leave us with a perspective of hope and a focus on God rather than on self.

The unpublished manuscript of Chasing the Wind won the Word Alive Press 2010 publishing contest in the non-fiction category, and was published in March 2011.

Robert White is the editor of ChristianWeek Ontario and writes the “A Matter of Faith” column in the Guelph Mercury. You can find Robert on the Great Canadian Authors site, or watch his interview on 100 Huntley Street: part 1 and part 2.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

*THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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