I just finished my first book of the new year. It was one that I got for Christmas, maybe ten years ago. I believe I started it three or four times and never made it more than a couple chapters in. I was tempted to think it wasn't very good and probably not worth reading. The truth was, I wasn't ready to hear what it was saying. Thank God that I was this time.
Mid-Course Correction by Gordon MacDonald and it is well worth the read. He builds the book on the concept of "vital optimism". Here's a short excerpt to explain:
"(Vital optimist is) the confident expectation that history is going somewhere and that God our Creator and Redeemer is powerfully directing it. Without such vital optimism or hope, life is, to say the least, quite troublesome."
MacDonald went on to chronicle the journey of 3 distinct people groups: (1) Abram and his clan as they answered a call to leave what was familiar in the book of Genesis, (2) the Israelites as they wrestled with the challenge to follow God's leading after they left Egypt and (3) the disciples of Christ as they reached higher toward a type of living the world had never seen before and we rarely see today.
After he unpacks those three stories in some details, we're left with the rock bottom concept, which is, to share another excerpt:
"Deep life change, mid-course correction, comes:
(1) When a person learns to leave and journey according to the hidden purposes of God.
(2) When a person learns to follow and master the hidden life of character according to Christ.
(3) When a person learns to reach beyond circumstances, adversity and death to the hidden rewards that lie waiting for those who enter eternity with Him.
Living like this brings mid-course correction of the deepest sort. And we shall not be disappointed."
Are you looking for a life full of vital optimism? Are you feeling somewhat hopeless? Do you just know, deep down, that you were created for more than what you know so far? I can't recommend this book enough for you. We all know, deep down, that we're in need of a mid-course correction. This book shows us what that has looked like in others past and what it could look like for us in our future.
If you have read it or do read it in the future, I'd love to know what you think.