Nashville, Tenn. 1/19/2010 12:00 PM GMT (WooEB)
Recently, Margaret Feinberg, author of "Scouting the Divine: Finding God in Wine, Wool and Wild Honey," talked about the LifeWay study based on that book during a podcast with Threads editor Michael Kelley. Click here to listen to that short interview.
After the podcast, Feinberg agreed to answer a few more personal questions addressing her faith, her writing process and her overall take on life.
Q: What continues to fascinate you about God and faith even after years of being a Christian?
Feinberg: I sit in humble wonder when I realize just how much more there is to learn and discover about God. He is so multifaceted. Just when you think you’ve grabbed hold onto an aspect of who He is, He reveals something new. The depth of His love. The wonder of His beauty. The strength of His power. I think I could spend a thousand lifetimes seeking God and never grasp the wonder of who He is and all that He has done.
Q: When and/or where do you feel closest to God?
Feinberg: I feel closest to God when I see the truths of Scripture displayed in everyday life. It’s one thing to read about the kindness of God, but it’s another thing to experience that kindness tangibly through the selfless act of a friend. It’s one thing to read about the generosity of God, but it’s another thing to experience what it means to give freely within the context of a body of believers. Those moments when Scripture comes alive – not just in my heart, but in my everyday life – I can’t help but feel close to God and be exuberant about all He is doing in our world.
Q: When it comes to your writing process, how do you know when your book is complete, when you’ve said all that needs to be said in that single work?
Feinberg: When I write, particularly in "The Organic God," "The Sacred Echo" and "Scouting the Divine," I don’t just select a topic or wrestle with an idea – I handpick every word. That takes a tremendous amount of time, prayer, reflection and pages in a thesaurus. Yet at the end of all of these projects there’s a moment when I know I’ve left it all on the field. I’ve done all that I could. Maybe I could do more after another 10 years of life or study or honing the craft of writing, but on that day, I’ve done all I could do. And that is enough.
Q: Which book of the Bible do you find yourself reading over and over? Why?
Feinberg: Recently, I’ve been immersed in the book of Genesis, reading it multiple times as well as diving into multiple commentaries. I’ve been taken by the literary style of the book – how Genesis echoes the themes of creation, fall and redemption that have taken place since the beginning of time and continue today. The presence of God in Genesis is an encouragement that He is still present today and will be present until the end of time. I’ve found my faith strengthened greatly in this foundational book of the Bible.
Q: I read that you and your husband, Leif, seek to live a "sustainable lifestyle." What does that look like? Is that strictly an environmental term?
Feinberg: While we recycle and try to remember to bring canvas bags to the grocery store (though I forget more often than I’d like to admit!), the sustainability we long for is not just environmental, but spiritual, relational, physical and in fulfilling the calling God has in our lives. Whenever you’re serving and loving others, the temptation for burnout, distraction and over committing intensifies.
We often ask the question, "What do we need to do today that will allow us to do this in 30 years?" Sometimes that means saying no to great opportunities. Sometimes that means making decisions and sacrifices that guard our relationship. Sometimes that means saying that today, no matter what, we’re going to the gym. Sometimes that means praying through sticky situations and asking for more time before thoughtfully and prayerfully giving a yes or no answer.
I think that as followers of God passionately in love with Jesus, we must remember that our spiritual journeys are marathons, not sprints. If we want to run and finish well, then we need to be intentional every step of the way.
Read more about Feinberg at her blog, margaretfeinberg.com. "Scouting the Divine: Finding God in Wine, Wool, and Wild Honey," is available at LifeWay Christian Stores.