If you’ve been reading R3 for any length of time knows that I’m a huge fan of Erwin McManus. So when I was approached by his publicist about reading an advance copy of his latest book, I was thrilled. But I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive. What if I didn’t like the book? What if I had to say a bunch of bad things about it? What if I had to come up with a third question that started with the phrase ‘what if’?!
That concern only grew as I had a hard time figuring out what to say about this book. So much of it seemed familiar: the influence of The Barbarian Way, Chasing Daylight, and Soul Cravings is obvious. But I’ve already read those books. I already get that way of thinking. I’m already on board.
There’s no question Erwin’s writings have had a profound impact on my life. The Barbarian Way helped bring me into a relationship with God. While Chasing Daylight forced me to be bold, and was a major reason this site was launched. But when I read Wide Awake nothing immediately jumped out at me.
“Sure it was good. But it wasn’t brilliant.” I told myself. “What am I getting out of it?”
But that view changed when I was, of all places, at the gym. I have no idea what caused the light bulb to go on. Maybe it was sheer exhaustion. Or maybe I just was looking for an excuse to stop exercising. But in one moment everything crystallized.
Wide Awake isn’t so much about me and my dreams, but about other people and their dreams.
As I mentioned, I already get Erwin McManus. And for the last few years I’ve been doing much of what he talks about in Wide Awake. But what I hadn’t been doing is helping other people live out their dreams. I had no framework for even recognizing that people were searching for their dreams.
Wide Awake changes that.
It gives me a way to relate and communicate with people about their dreams.
At it’s core Wide Awake is about identifying the dreams God has for us, and then learning to live a life that makes those dreams a reality. Considering most of us probably can’t even identify a dream we want to live, that’s no small task.
Since that moment at the gym, I see just how many people are sleep walking through their lives (myself included). When I hear people talk about their unfulfilling jobs I no longer think in terms of job satisfaction, pay raises or a career change. What I realize people are saying is that they long to live a different life. They want to wake up, but they don’t know how. And so they feel trapped.
When I hear that story of loneliness, I no longer have to say, “gee, I’m sorry to hear that,” because I have nothing else to offer. Now I can offer them some hope. I can talk about the potential in their lives, and the dreams that God has created them to live.
No matter how spiritual we are, it’s funny how we still take a consumerist attitude toward God. I wanted Wide Awake to benefit me. I wanted a blueprint of how to live the life of my dreams. What I got was a road map of how to help other’s achieve their’s.
And you know what?
That’s letting me live out my dreams.