Book review: The Calling: Living a Life of Significance

by Kurt Senske

★★★★

This is a self-help workbook for Christians, complete with exercises. A guide to spicing up everyday life with meaning, by discovering and living in alignment with the purpose God has set for our lives. It’s “impossible for us to live the life that God created uniquely for us and continue to live in our old ways.” So, Senske provides a workshop for people who want to change their lives now, who are dissatisfied now with a life of insignificance.

How do we choose our job? How do we manage our finances? How do we budget our time? Although the focus of the book is on secular issues, the solution is always finding the path that’s in harmony with God. We must recognize that we don’t choose our calling; God chooses it for us. Step one, then, according to Dr. Senske, is to make God central to our lives.

Step two is to “connect the dots,” recognizing God’s hand in all of life’s little synchronicities. Step three is to incorporate rituals into our daily lives. By the time you reach the final exercise, your life will be transformed … by accepting God’s purpose for you.

I confess that, as a liberal Christian, I had trouble relating to a few of the themes. Perhaps I overestimated myself when I offered to review a book for Christian living, based upon practices and beliefs many of which I, myself, have grown away from. While I have no trouble imagining a God-filled purpose to life (where “God” may be defined very differently from person to person), I can’t quite relate to praying to Jesus, or seeing the hand of a divine being in odd coincidences, or attending church every Sunday without fail.

I’m going to give the book four stars instead of five, being true to my measurement of how much the book taught and captivated me. But there is much wisdom in many of its strategies, and I’m certain its teachings will click even stronger with more conservative Christians.

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