Josh Martin is someone I’ve respected and appreciated since I met him in 2006. A few years ago, he wrote and published a book called Saturday Nothing. It’s a fantastic memoir about learning to live his story well while waiting for Jesus. (Go order it on Amazon.com.) Josh, thanks for honestly telling your story, doubts and hopes and all.
Josh is the kind of fellow you’d be hard pressed not to like from the first conversation you have with him.
Fortunately, his book begins like such an introductory conversation, inviting readers to see life through his eyes for a few moments.
Josh claims he has a love affair with words, and it shows. Saturday Nothing manages to share big ideas about God, spirituality, and living meaningfully without getting preachy or using too many five-syllable words. He crafts chapter by chapter with an accessible, honest approach that provides readers with a real understanding not just of what he’s come to believe, but also why.
Memoirs like Saturday Nothing transport the reader into the experiences of the author, and Josh succeeded in pulling me into parts of his story. It’s refreshing. It’s emotional and authentic. And best of all, Josh encourages the rest of us to live out our stories with purpose and passion in the meantime.
[He’s one of the people who inspired me to write my own book.]
Here are a few of my favorite parts of the book.
SATURDAY NOTHING: The Words I Wrote While Waiting On Jesus
“The first followers of Jesus, who were together that first Sunday…in a very basic sense, they were being healed because they were present…They sat with each other…They embraced the emotion – because embracing the emotion is essential to the process.”
“Waiting for Jesus is the story of our lives, and it’s a story worth telling. In my meantime, there’s been melody, mystery, and meaning. There’s been trial, hope, and second chances. And there’s been Jesus. Always Jesus. He’s brought worth to my waiting and my writing. So welcome to Saturday Nothing, the words I wrote while waiting on Jesus.”
“Everything in me believes when you look into the eyes of Jesus and you’re given an invitation to a better story, you take it. You can’t resist.“
“When you’re confronted with truth you shouldn’t run the other way or deflect or defend. You should bear the responsibility of your sin. You should walk with a limp for the rest of your life before you walk with lies.”
“The skeptic always had a seat at Jesus’ table.”
“God wants to know if we had a faith that moved, a faith that transformed our actions…A spoken word without actualization is a core disconnect from the confession.”
“Our work is because of His work. Our agenda is to push forward His.”
“‘If you took this job it would be a good thing, a comfortable thing. But Josh, the last thing you want is a good thing. You need to leave East Texas and attempt something great. Go plant a church, go start a movement, go tell the story as only you can. Josh, I can’t keep you here. God has a bigger mission for you…‘”
- This makes me think of how much more people grow when they leave the town they grew up in. Often it takes a major shift in surroundings and even social circles to gain the clarity and confidence to live in a productive direction. We each have a role to play in God’s story. Let’s not miss out on the grand epic He’s writing.
“‘You must understand this: in the West, time matters more, but in Africa, people matter most. The Church is the people, not the time.‘”
“The greatest gift of the meaning, of Saturday nothing, is God. He’s the One we have now and the One we are waiting on – to have fully later. He’s the joy in the midst of sorrow, the hope relentlessly reminding us that things won’t always be this way…A Saturday filled with nothing spent with God is still a beautiful Saturday.”
“Realizing people have souls is essential to living well in the meantime – because the realization is half the battle. And if a spiritual truth makes its way into your head, it has a chance to make its way into your heart.”
“‘Life is ongoing obedience to the promptings of God.'”
“We were waiting for Jesus, and we fell in love, so we made a covenant to wait together.”
“Drew and I spent more of our drivetime talking about who we wanted to be and what kind of life we wanted to have when we were Ronald Reagan’s age. We decided if we made it to Ronald Reagan’s age, we wanted to be sitting around on someone’s porch drinking coffee and telling stories…We wanted long lists of great stories. We wanted to be friends who grew old together and played racquetball together and started movements together. We wanted to be the church.”
“Henri Nowen believe in and knew the love of God. He had – as maybe you and I have – an intellectual understanding regarding God’s love, but until we feel the love of God in our bones, we have not yet known it. Until we apply the love of God into the deepest places of our despair, we have not yet found home base. We are still wandering.”
“God used a storyteller to provoke me to tell my story.”
- This resonates with me. My core comes alive when inspired by skilled and authentic storytellers in writing, music, film, or otherwise.
“What if we realized Saturday nothing was the space where the Spirit was most able to meet us in our ache? In the midst of our waiting, in the middle of our story, may we be so fortunate to have the Son of God appear.”
“I used, to love God, but now, at times, it feels like I love knowledge about God. Knowing about God and knowing God are two different things. One causes your chest to puff out and the other causes your chest to cave in. I remember Dane would say, ‘If everything you learn doesn’t send you back to your knees in worship then you’ve learned for nothing.'”
- Knowledge is useful and appealing, but God is far bigger and demands more than just our intellect. He also desires our emotions, bodies, and whole souls.
What are you learning while waiting in the meantime?