There are two passages in particular that I found interesting as a Jew. Taylor discusses how hard it is to hit pause in life when there is just so much to do. She writes that her Christianity exacerbated the problem, as she felt that G-d's kingdom was out there, waiting to be sought out -- under those circumstances, who has time to slow down and stop? She found the answer in the Biblical verses we are all familiar with. "Remember the Sabbath day..." She writes (p. 136-137):
Like every other clergyperson I knew, I believed I had no alternative. Taking a full day off was so inconceivable that I made up reasons why it was not possible. If I stopped for a whole day, there would be no more weekend weddings at Grace-Calvary [the church where she was pastor], or someone else would have to do them. Sick people would languish in the hospital and begin to question their faith. Parishioners would start a rumor that I was not a real shepherd but only a hired hand. If I stopped for a whole day, my animals would starve [she lived on a farm], my house would grow mold, weeds would take over my garden, and my credit rating would collapse. If I stopped for a whole day, G-d would be sorely disappointed in me.
While remembering the Sabbath does involve a radical shift of priorities, these were all lies. Observant Jews have kept the Sabbath for millennia, even those caring for half a dozen children and elderly parents whose needs do not stop when the sun goes down. Sabbath is written into the ancient covenant with G-d. Remember the Sabbath, the rabbis say, and you fulfill all of Torah. Stop for one whole day every week, and you will remember what it means to be created in the image of G-d, who rested on the seventh day not from weariness but from complete freedom. The clear promise is that those who rest like G-d find themselves free like G-d, no longer slaves to the thousand compulsions that send others rushing toward their graves.Wow. What a derasha. No wonder Taylor was once ranked as one of the most effective preachers in the English speaking world.
There is another passage I found interesting. Taylor writes that many ministers developed "larger-than-life swaggers" as they felt they had achieved near perfection, while others suffered sleepless nights as they contemplated just how far from perfection they were. She writes (p 150):
As Christians, we were especially vulnerable since our faith turned on the story of a divine human being. Those who became ordained were not presented with Moses or Miriam as our models, so that we could imagine ourselves as flawed human beings still willing to lead people through the wilderness.When I read that I appreciated anew why the Torah presents every character flaw in our Avos and Imahos and does not try to sweep the defects under the rag and awe us with their greatness. The message of Torah is that imperfection is not an obstacle to greatness.
There is a lot more of value in Taylor's book that I think anyone who is human, no matter what their faith, can appreciate.