Dear Book Lovers,

I’ve been thinking about happiness. I want to be happy and I want the people I love to be happy. I’ve been told over and over again in words, in songs, in literature, in films that this is a good thing to want. And I’ve tried hard, very hard on many occasions to make it happen. Frankly, I think I have made a lot of decisions based on whether or not they would bring me happiness. But lately I’ve been wondering about  this desire, this goal. Does God offer us happiness or does He offer us a soul rich in His presence? I think the latter. There are many events in a person’s life that are not happy times, but in God’s hands those events become richer and more valuable than the happy times could ever be. Maybe the pursuit of happiness is not all its press has led me to believe.

What does this have to do with kids’ books? Kids are being deluged with books that muddy the waters of right and wrong. It’s tough for parents to take a stand against them. They know the kids will not be happy. Kids, many of them, want to read what their friends are reading. They don’t want to feel left out of the conversations. But I wonder, don’t we Christians all have to learn, trust really, that being left out at times or being different can be a good thing? Isn’t that a tool we need and will need if we are to follow Jesus? He stuck out so it seems unlikely that we who are Christians and have Jesus indwelling us will blend into the crowd.