Friday, October 19, 2012

2012 Book 24: Wrecked

I finished the book Wrecked by Jeff Goins a couple of weeks ago but I haven't had time to write about it. This particular book is about the need to grow up; to embrace the mundane along with the adventure and to find a way to make a difference in the life you are living.

The book had some good ideas but was definitely speaking to a particular group of people. I fall into this group – the young person who longs for adventure; who travels the world; who isn't sure about settling down; who sees needs in the world around them but doesn't know how to truly make a difference. I think most people probably feel these types of yearnings, but not everyone has the means or desire to seek out adventure and travel the world searching for that meaning. Or maybe everyone is searching for some kind of meaning, even if it is just in their back yards.

The book has a lot of great thoughts. The main point that I took away are that we all go through phases in our life. It is natural to be in a searching phase when you are young but part of growing up is choosing to stick something out – whether it is a job or relationship {or both}. It is important to contribute to your own life and not waste your entire life looking for how you can impact the world in a big way... it is better to choose to impact the world you live in. Even if it is only in a small way.

There were a lot of good excerpts in this books – see below, I had a hard time narrowing down my favorites – but there was a lot of redundancy too. I think this is an important topic: the need to grow up and the importance of making a difference in the world, but I feel like this book needed more meat to it.

Excerpts from the book:

Everyone in this world is searching. Each of us is searching for something to give meaning to life. To bring purpose to our work. We all know this; we’re familiar with this emptiness, this longing for more…

Without prompting, kids know how to dream up adventures and slay dragons. To embark on epic voyages and live out idyllic scenes. To spend hours in the backyard with nothing but their imaginations.

Children do not wait all year for two weeks of vacation. They don’t spend their lives doing things they hate so they can earn the right to do what they really want. They live life to the full, children do, and somehow we have to regain that innocence.

Our broken heartedness at the injustices we witness is what gives us compassion. So when we rush past these messy and uncomfortable moments, we take away the experiences that teach us mercy.

The world is broken and remains that way, in spite of our efforts to help it. This is beautiful, in a way, because it breaks us of our self-dependency. In a world that refuses to be healed, we must face the fact that we are not the heroes of our stories. It teaches us to rely on something bigger than ourselves and teaches the source of true compassion.

…when you expose yourself to deep need and pain, it feels anything but good. Compassion is messy. It hurts…

If we are to follow the Jesus who suffered with us and bled for us, we too must suffer. We must hold the dying in our arms. We must shed tears for hungry stomachs, trafficked children, and wandering souls. This is what He wants for us. It’s the reason we are called to lay down our nets and take up our crosses to pursue the Suffering Servant. And it’s the one thing we will avoid at all costs.

“What if the purpose of my life is not about me? Am I willing to give up all my dreams, my aspirations and comfort to find it?”

We know we need community and connection but, ironically, we’re not willing to commit to it...

In each of our stories, there is a moment when all our priorities and concerns shift. Our identity begins to change. We sense a disparity between what is and what should be.

…fear isn’t the enemy; inaction is. What we have to learn to do is lean into the things that hold us back, to move through the pain and push forward.

At a distance, we see a need and ignore it. We judge it, condemn it, forget it. We don’t think about it, because if we practice ignorance long enough, we don’t notice the need anymore.

When the passion goes away, it’s the practice that sustains us.

When you commit to something, anything, it allows you to practice what you love. And eventually, you get really good at it. Maybe even without noticing.

Here’s the thing about adventures: they all have an ending.

We need to break this cycle of extended adolescence. We need to help young people transition well into adulthood. Perhaps we need to grow up ourselves.

…greatness has a cost, and its name is commitment.

…we need to be careful with this obsession with novelty. We may find ourselves losing the old things that are most important to our humanity—things like doing what we say and honoring our commitments.

…we are only able to help heal the brokenness around us when we are living whole lives ourselves.

In most things, those who do the most work get the least amount of credit.

“Which was harder,” I asked, “having your second child, or your third?” He sighed. “A lot of people ask me that, but the truth is that the biggest adjustment is having your first kid. You know, all of this—marriage, buying a house, having kids—these are all lessons in dying to yourself.”

…your life is not about you.

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