People are reminded of things on a daily basis: don’t forget to take out the trash; remember to pay the bill that is due today; please take the dog out for a walk; don’t forget to call the doctor to schedule an appointment. The list of daily reminders is never ending and is different for everyone. It can become a nuisance to be reminded of these little things, but with how crazy life can become in just a moment, these constant reminders can become a Godsend. And yet, how many times a day is someone reminded of feelings happening within? How often does someone remind someone else that it is okay to fail? That it is okay to be afraid of change? To remember to love oneself even during the most stressful of times? Writers Woo Du-An and Robert G. Novak will give readers these reminders and more in their first co-written book Allowing God.
As the cover reads, Allowing God gives “insights to inspire and renew the fire of love at the very center of your soul.” Du-An and Novak have shared personal experiences through twenty-five chapters that show what it means to be human, expressing the good traits and the bad, and how allowing God to enter into one’s soul can help one appreciate the good and the bad traits of being human. So much information and guidance is packed in just twenty-five chapters, ranging from topics of self-doubt to discovering wholeness to learning how to balance the light and dark in one’s soul. No matter the topic, readers are sure to find a chapter that pertains to an event happening in their lives or a chapter that truly speaks to their hearts.
For their debut, Du-An and Novak are truly an inspirational duo. Readers will feel as if these two writers are speaking directly to them with the use of first and second person storytelling. So many chapters depict human life so perfectly, anyone who picks up the book can relate to it. Chapter five, for instance, talks about taking a moment to pause during stormy times in life: “Sometimes what brings the greatest relief is to just stop – and let the rain fall. When we’re going through the stormy time, it’s hard to see beyond our veil of tears, but God is right there in every tear that is shed” (Du-An & Novak 46). Remembering to stop and see the world for what it really is is the main point of chapter fourteen: “Losing our sense of fascination is such an easy thing to do” (Du-An & Novak 98). Facing one’s deepest fears and lighting the dark side of the human spirit are focused on in chapter sixteen: “A great deal of the cruelty, hatred and oppression in the world comes from the inability and unwillingness to face our shadows” (Du-An & Novak 110).
A main topic Du-An and Novak cover in various chapters is the topic of change. Change is an important topic that humans need constant reminders about. They begin and end Allowing God with the well-known nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty and talk about how, yes, there will be times when humans, like Humpty, are going to fall and get hurt. There will be times when one’s spirit or heart is broken, but what matters is how one learns from the fall and how one will develop into something better. “I’m more interested in seeing what sort of omelet I’ll make. I want to be a little better at letting myself be cooked and to entertain the possibility that God is the chef” (Du-An & Novak 24). The fear of change is perhaps the number one fear of the human race, but in order to live the lives God intended for humans to live, they must be able to accept change, for each moment of change in one’s life is a transforming moment. A quote said by Bob Marley follows the metaphor Du-An and Novak use for their book: “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”
Allowing God can most certainly have an impact on one’s life. Different chapters within the book will speak louder to different people and different readers will take away different pieces of guidance for their everyday lives. Upon finishing, many readers may feel inspired to share their own stories with others about how, after allowing God to touch their hearts, their lives have changed. It is difficult for one to express to other readers why they should read this book, for as aforementioned, it touches people in so many different ways and yet, it is a wonderful reminder to give to others. To give this book as a gift or a loan is a great way to remind others that it is okay to doubt oneself; that it is okay to look at the world with childlike wonder; and to remember to talk to God, for He is always present, always listening, and always willing to remind those who listen that they are loved.