What to say? T3d's done it again. I'm usually not much of a fan of modern works. Classical literature is my passion, and I'm often somewhat skeptical of contemporary author's ability to write well. And then, I read Black. My entire mindset underwent a paradigm shift so dramatic, so utterly complete, that I began to devour any and all books by Ted Dekker. Now, several months later, I have had the incredible privledge of reading his latest offering: Obsessed.
As has become his trademark, Dekker seamlessly weaves spiritual depth into a genuinely captivating tale. Gone are the days when a parable sounded like a parable and nothing more. In Obsessed, the imagination has been given full freedom to invent and create and illuminate in the tradition of the Inventor and Creator and Illuminator. Tolkien's idea of "subcreation" has rarely been capitalized upon so richly and rewardingly.
Others have already given a basic synopsis of the plot; I shall not bore you with recitation of the book's moving story. Rather, I seek to spark some thoughtful, reasoned consideration of the book's main premise - Obsession.
Ted makes a shrewd observation near the beginning of the book. A wise, kindly old antiques dealer tells Stephen - the protagonist - that man was created to obsess. Value is often not so much intrinsic as ascribed. For example, diamonds are shiny, compressed carbon. Yet, they are valued and sought after world-over. Why? Because people percieve value in them, and are willing to pay copious amounts of money to obtain them. The price a person is willing to pay determines the worth of the diamond. We know that people obsess over such petty things. Indeed, entire wars have been waged over less. And Ted Dekker has the audacity to posit that humans act in such manner because they were created to do so!!!
In fact, he goes so far as to say that our obsessive tendencies are a reflection of God's character, because He is obsessed with us. Moreover, and much more importantly He is obsessed with Himself. Due to His infinite worthiness, His obsession is not petty or narcissitic, but wise and proper. And in the midst of His obsession is one great and glorious goal, one end to which His obsession must lead: He longs to lavish the extravagance of His love upon His children - to the praise of the glory of His grace!
The problem is, mankind has collectively shifted focus from what should be the object of their affection and obsession - God Himself - onto worthless baubles and meaningless floccinaucinihilipilification. To combat this, Ted has carefully crafted a brilliant expose of our spiritual unfaithfulness and wrapped it in the guise of a fascinating, compelling, oft-disturbing novel. And for that I am thankful. By the end of my read, I finally understood - and longed for! - the need for obsession. My earnest prayer is for Christ to be my all. I desire to be obsessed with Him as He is obsessed with me. May you who read this become consumed with the same obsession.
Oh, and make sure to read Obsessed if you haven't already. For that matter, read all his books! I've enjoyed every one of them. Elyon's blessings!!!!!!!