Timothy Keller has a new book called "Every Good Endeavor- Connecting Your Work To God's Work." Although it doesn't release till tomorrow, November 13th, I was able to get an advance copy of it a couple of weeks ago, and now, I am going to do everything in my written power to get you to go out an buy your own copy tomorrow. This review will explain why:
I thought this book was going to talk to me about my job. About the 40 out of the 168 hours of my week and how I can improve on those, but then leave me to find another book to deal with the remaining 3/4 of my time. I'm happy to say that I was wrong. This book has burrowed inside my head and my heart to deal thoroughly and attentively with my humanity.
I sat down with this book on a weekday. I was sitting in my writing chair with the sun shining in on me, warming me and my husband across the room from me, working at his laptop. I had a cup of coffee next to me and I smiled as I creaked the book open to the introduction.
Read, sip, smile.
Read, sip, smile.
This was my pattern as I happily sank into the rhythm of the writing.
Read, sip, smile....and then Boom! I was crying. Wait?!?! What? I looked up at my husband who was a little bit confused about my tears and said "What the heck, book?" Right there, in the introduction I was hit with a revelation about what I do and what it has to do with eternity. You can find your own world rocked where mine was on page 30, 1st line 2nd paragraph. It starts, "Whatever your work, you need to know this...."
Keller also says, "Everyone imagines accomplishing things, and everyone finds him-or herself largely incapable of producing them. Everyone wants to be successful rather than forgotten, and everyone wants to make a difference in life."
This is the place I imagine you will be when you begin this book and then you will follow Keller through it's pages as he shows you how, the ONLY how, to make your work, your accomplishments, your good endeavors matter forever. Then as he shows how a life that views "work mainly as a means of self-fulfillment and self realization slowly crushes a person and...undermines society," and how to escape that crushing in light of the fact that, "according to the Bible, we don't merely need the money from work to survive; we need the work itself to survive and live fully human lives."
The inside jacket of this book says that within Keller will give "biblical perspectives on such pressing question as:
"What is the purpose of work?
How can I find meaning and serve customers in a cutthroat, bottom-line-oriented workplace?
How can I use my skills in a vocation that has meaning and purpose?
Can I stay true to my values and still advance in my field?
How do I make the difficult choices that must be made in the course of a successful career?"
These questions are definitely answered and then many many others are investigated and answered as well.
I have started reading this book again from the beginning. The pages are marked up and there are sticky notes scrawled with my thoughts hanging from the pages. In reading it I have been able to look at my work, the long flights, the late nights and early mornings, the handing over of my songs and words and thoughts only to sometimes be met with rejection, the hours spent writing and singing, all in an attempt to reveal a great beauty that I have caught a glimpse of and found the reassurance that I can be in a place where I "can gladly accept whatever level of success and accomplishment God gives me in [my] vocation, because he has called [me] to it...." and, "in any time and place [I] can work with joy, satisfaction and no regrets."
What a beautiful and needed thing to learn. Imagine if we all learned this.
The Lawyers The Mothers The Accountants The Musicians The Teachers The Pastors The Politicians The Painters The Writers The Athletes The Actors The Fathers
This book is for us all and through its reading it can change and reshape your entire outlook on your life. Your work/job/vocation may be the longest relationship you have. Mine, as a singer and musician, started when I was very young and I would imagine it stretching out till my deathbed. It started before I met my husband and before I had my daughter. It could possibly even out-last my parents. It will span the majority of my life and my relationship with my work will set the tone for everything else that I do, everyone else that I come into contact with because I will either be living as someone being crushed or someone liberated.
There is freedom found within the pages of this book and I am thankful to have had Timothy Keller so insightfully reveal it to me.
Buy this book in bulk. Read it with a group of people so that you can talk through it with them. Keller writes that to listen to a teaching isn't enough, but, "the study of adult learning has shown that people change only when they hear the new thinking, can discuss it among their peers, and can apply it in simulated or actual situations."
Then come back and leave me comments about how it is rocking your world :)
Pre-order your copy on Amazon.com here: Every Good Endeavor by Timothy Keller
And Barnes and Noble here: Every Good Endeavor by Timothy Keller
Here is Timothy Keller speaking about "Every Good Endeavor" http://vimeo.com/47033969