Monday, August 11, 2014

My Past > My Future

Happy August 11th readers!

Let me begin by apologizing for not writing this blog post upon my return from vacation last week as promised in my last post. (FYI: If you didn't figure it out already, I went to Toronto, Ontario to visit family and attend their annual Caribbana Festival.) It was a road trip that left me both physically and mentally exhausted when I got home last Monday; and I needed the rest of last week to recover. However, I have been reading during my hiatus and now I'm ready to share, so please bear with me.

I've finally finished reading Steven Furtick's book, Greater, which I randomly bought from Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago. It was on sale, a really good sale that I didn't take advantage of because I am on a tight budget since I'm moving into an apartment in a few weeks. Like I do with all my random book finds, I read the first few pages in the store (ain't no shame in my game!); and I'm happy to say that the book lived up to those first few pages.

Greater has a very down-to-earth tone that makes it both personable and easy  to read. It's just 190 pages long (though it took me much longer than it should have because of vacation obligations), and even better, it's not bogged down by a bunch of biblical scripture in an attempt to add fluff and length to the book. Instead, Furtick focuses on one specific bible story with a few personal stories of his own in between to explain the importance of letting God lead us, so that we can experience a life greater than we could ever imagine.

A greater life....what does that even mean? Well according to Steven Furtick, it definitely doesn't mean being greater than Jesus Christ; but rather, living a greater and more purposeful life with Jesus through His Spirit within us. It means having the courage to let go of anything or anyone that is holding you back from taking the next step in your life, the next step towards the greater life God calls us to.
The thing is, most believers aren't in imminent danger of ruining their lives. They're facing a danger that's far greater: wasting them.
Wasting my life is exactly what I'm afraid of, which is why at the ripe age of 25 I've become more fearless in my decision-making (read my review of Cheryl Strayed's, Wild to see just how gangsta I can be) and am making a real effort at pursuing all of my interests simultaneously. For example, I currently run a small business, write a weekly blog (thank you for reading it!), serve as the director of my church's youth choir while working a demanding 9-5 job that I enjoy. Sounds like a lot right? I'll admit that it is but I honestly feel as though it's what God wants me to do right now. However, I know in my heart that He wants me to do something greater; something that will have a much bigger impact than anything I do on my own.
God's greater purpose in any area of your life means giving up your false expectations of greatness to find the greater things He's called only you to do.
Furtick confirmed what I already knew, which is that in order to grow and serve a greater purpose in the world, you must be willing to let go of things and people that hinder your growth. That's why I'm trying to remove all of the barriers that could possibly be preventing me from hearing His voice clearer than I've ever heard Him before now. From personal experience, I know that one has to be willing to surrender all to God and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. It's not easy (trust me I know!) but it's definitely worth it! At least I think so. 

Honestly, the best decision I've ever made was accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord & Savior. My faith helps me stay grounded and optimistic in situations where others become victims of nervous breakdowns, drug addictions, or even worse, suicide. Life can be difficult but knowing that my present help comes from God makes it bearable.

Should you Open or Close this book? Open it, especially if you're currently going through a quarter-life crisis like me, through a very demanding transition in your life, feeling stagnant, or like a loser. Read it even if you're not going through anything at all. My co-worker bought it for her friend after I told her about it and he loves it!
Would I read another book by this author? Yes.
What will I read next? Maybe Koren Zailckas signed copy of her novel, Mother, Mother.