Ingrid and I have been reading Max Lucado’s book, Cure for the Common Life together. We are not quite half way through yet, so I’ll have to let you know how it turns out when we are done. But so far, it is pretty good.
The book is about finding your ‘sweet spot’ in life. The premise is not really anything new but some of the application and tools are. The idea is this, God created you with a purpose in mind and tailored you to be the most fulfilled when living out that purpose. That isn’t an earth shattering idea to me. But what Lucado brings to the table are suggestions on how to figure out enough about yourself to see what that purpose may be. The book contains a large section in the back with tools to do this as well. Lucado also gives examples to show how this can work out.
I think it is important to note, that Lucado presents the primary motivation for living in your sweet spot is because that is where you will bring glory to God. It is not a book about finding what makes you happy with no consideration outside yourself. It is about finding out how God made you so that you can bring honor to Him. Living this way will make us happy, I believe, but that happiness is comes from living for God, not the other way around. (I think that this is an important distinction) And I do believe that living for God may lead to doing things that are hard and my be extremely difficult. Lucado has pointed out early on tha greed will kill your sweet spot. This is not a book that says following God means having whatever you might want in quantity.
Two things really stand out to me at this point in the book. The first is that this book is for people who live in countries like America. I don’t think talking to people about finding their ‘sweet spot’ career would go over real well in a place like Darfur or North Korea. Their more concerned with getting enough food to stay alive or avoiding being killed by their own government. But in industrialized nations, I think it has some real value. That is not to say it is not true for everyone, but for the truly poor it would need to be framed in different terms.
The second thing is that this is the first Lucado book I’ve ever read. The guy is quite popular and I’m no literary critic, but I have to say, it is difficult to read at times. Maybe I notice this more because Ingrid and I take turns reading out loud, but quite frequently we have to read sentences 2 or 3 times before we figure out what they are trying to say. The sentence structure is often just really awkward. Maybe this is good though. It makes us pause and work out just what he is trying to say.