I know it’s long overdue, but I finally read the acclaimed Tuesdays with Morrie after first hearing about it more than three years ago. Although I kept seeing Mitch Albom’s name on the bestsellers’ list, I couldn’t quite understand what his books were all about. I’d heard he was related to baseball – was Morrie a baseball legend? Then Albom recently published Have a Little Faith, which I didn’t quite agree with theologically.
But today at the library I passed by several of Albom’s books on the shelf, and I decided to take a closer look. Tuesdays with Morrie discusses death, life, love, and college. Combined with its small, lightweight binding, this book fit the bill perfectly.
The book abounds with wisdom, albeit human wisdom. Nevertheless, Morrie pronounces some great insights into life, sometimes echoing the Bible as he draws from his own experiences and different religions. Morrie says:
“Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live” (pg. 82).
As Christians, we too do not gain true life until we die to our sins in Christ.
“Forget what the culture says. I have ignored the culture much of my life. I am not going to be ashamed. What’s the big deal?” (116).
Neither are we to be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
“You know what [not wanting to age] reflects? Unsatisfied lives. Unfulfilled lives. Lives that haven’t found meaning. Because if you’ve found meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more. You can’t wait until sixty-five.” (118)
He, like Paul, has learned to be content in any and every situation.
“Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning” (127).
Although devoting your life to others is sound in principle, Christians must always keep our greater purpose of glorifying God in sight.
“Invest in the human family. Invest in people. Build a little community of those you love and who love you” (157).
Morrie says that it’s our ability to love that can change the world. Love distinguishes us from animals and gives us meaning in life, he says. However, it’s not our love but God’s love in sending Jesus Christ to die for us on the cross that ultimately solves the world’s problem of sin.
Many of us, like Mitch and Morrie, strive for excellence. We often criticize ourselves for our mistakes. But we should accept that we are still sinners living in a sinful world.
“It’s not just other people we need to forgive … We also need to forgive ourselves … You can’t get stuck on the regrets of what should have happened” (166).
Finally, in light of his own death, Morrie says:
“Death ends a life, not a relationship” (174).
If you think about it, much of what Morrie says is actually based on biblical principles. We just needed someone like him to put it into concrete words and actions for us. Tuesdays with Morrie is a sweet reminder of the relationships that really matter in life.
Yet it’s sobering to remember that, void of the saving grace of Jesus Christ alone, Morrie never went to heaven. Life still has no value unless we believe in Christ.