Sarah and I have started a class at church based on the book The Call by Os Guiness. It's going to be a great class. Yesterday was the beginning and, as our teacher said, we didn't get much accomplished other than muddying the waters so that they can become clearer later. What's cool about the class is that our teacher (or moderator since it's a discussion class) said basically that when he asks a question, he doesn't want to know what we in general think, he wants to know what you, sitting in that chair right there, thinks. How refreshing. This book and class will move us way beyond the shallowness of The Purpose Driven Life. We're going deep! Here are a few quotes from the beginning of the book. I'm sure I'll be sharing many along the way.
"As modern people we are all on a search for significance. We desire to make a difference. We long to leave a legacy. We yearn, as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, 'to leave the world a bit better.' Our passion is to know that we are fulfilling the purpose for which we are here on earth.
All other standards of success - wealth, power, position, knowledge, friendships - grow tinny and hollow if we do not satisfy this deeper longing. For some people the hollowness leads to what Henry Thoreau described as 'lives of quiet desperation'; for others the emptiness and aimlessness deepen into a stronger despair. In an early draft of Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brother's Karamazov, the Inquisitor gives a terrifying account of what happens to the human soul when it doubts its purpose: 'For the secret of man's being is not only to live...but to live for something definite. Without a firm notion of what he is living for, man will not accept life and will rather destroy himself than remain on earth...'"
"You can get all A's and still flunk life." - Walker Percy
"The thing is to understand myself, to see what God really wants me to do; the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die." - Soren Kierkegaard
"The trouble is that, as modern people, we have too much to live with and too little to live for. Some feel they have time but not enough money; others feel they have money but not enough time. But for most of us, in the midst of material plenty, we have spiritual poverty."
"Science is meaningless because it gives no answer to our question, the only question important to us, 'what shall we do and how shall we live?'" - Leo Tolstoy