I discovered this book as I was beginning to navigate my way through a major Plan B of my own making. It’s a great book and I highly recommend it for anyone. Period. Let’s face it, like Joe Pesci’s character in the mob classic "Casino" said: "In my line of work things don’t go so smooth." In life, things have a way of changing. This book works through that…stuff…very well. Here are just three (of many) reasons I recommend it:
Throughout the book the examples used cover every angle I could think of. Infertility, depression, adultery, various failures, accidents, medical diagnosis – you name it. And Pete hits them from all sides to see how that persons life changed. He looks at the victim, the transgressor, the collateral damage, and even the repentant and truly changed transgressor. The real life examples and scriptures woven throughout are powerful and multifaceted.
I found it incredibly refreshing for a pastor to admit, repeatedly, "I don’t know." Why? How long? When? "I don’t know." Somehow there was power in that. And his follow up of pointing us back to Christ and asking if we could find a way to trust. It sounds trite when I write it here, but in the context of the book and the way in which he asks the questions I found myself constantly asking myself bigger and deeper questions which ultimately boiled down to, "Will I trust God?" If everything falls apart and nothing gets better, will I trust God?
Some of the life stories did have positive resolution. Some did not. Others were in process with varying amounts of light at the end of the tunnel visible. So where does the hope come from? Reading the book felt like a journey towards healing; taking steps toward health. The process of starting with an "I don’t know why I made these choices" and working more and more toward "I do and I will trust God with my life regardless of how this situation resolves itself" gives a sense of hope. In many ways the book provided a venue to struggle through the process of realizing that I do not need to live a reactionary life simply responding to problems. On the contrary, I can take active and bold steps toward living how I believe God wants me to live regardless of anything I am going through, whether it’s my fault or not.
Your turn. Read any good books lately?