I have known for awhile that reading is not a priority for me. I also know there are many correlations between successful people and reading. One of the final nudges for me to start reading, and sharing my reading with students, is I believe strongly in the “lead by doing” idea of being any sort of role model or leader. In the winter of the 2016-2017 school year I took the lead from a few other teachers in our district and started a classroom library.
Creating this library actually came together quite nicely! Two matching bookshelves were sitting unused in our district’s furniture “storehouse”. I have many personal books I took out of moving boxes to start the collection. I used resources like Donors Choose to order a few dozen science themed books. I was also fortunate to have colleagues share books, or direct book donations my way. Put all these together and voila! The science library begins. Getting students to use it has been a story for another post.
To start populating the science library, I looked at several ‘Top-100 Science Book” pages. On several lists were some books that clearly supported atheist and/or agnostic views (not a big surprise given the topics of science and religion). In fairness to others beliefs, I added these books to the library. I also found a way to squeeze in some positive God books, while still covering myself from a legal perspective being that I am teaching in a public school. One such book I feel is a school safe read is Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue.
Finding God in the Waves is McHargue’s telling of his personal struggle, and then resolution, with faith and a belief in God. I think many people could connect with this story. It might even be a missing piece or a guide to someone else’s faith journey. McHargue does a nice job explaining how several different fields of science work together in order to rationalize ideas surrounding faith in his mind.
As the world seems to continue this trend of divisiveness and ideas being “all-right” or “all-wrong”, I found this read to be very thought provoking and not pushy. I found the connections to psychology and physics to be very helpful in processing through McHargue’s personal journey. As a Christian and a science minded person I could empathize with McHargue’s internal struggle to find peace with the idea of having faith in God. I highly recommend giving this a read if you consider yourself science minded or if you find yourself bent on rationalizing your thoughts and feelings. It’s probably not for everyone, but given that I have spent a solid decade avoiding pleasure reading I actually found it to be a nice read. Peace.