“Get Your Life Back” Book Review Show 44


I make it a point to read every day. Someone once said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Reading is important for a myriad of reasons.

Sometimes something really cool happens: I run across a book and it teaches me ideas that are life changing. I want to share a book like that with you and offer to send you complimentary copy.

A friend and I were having coffee in January and he recommended that I read a recently published book called Get Your Life Back by John Eldredge. I had read one of the author’s prior books and enjoyed it. I figured this would be a good read too.

We are inundated with information. Our smart phones keep us connected to the entire world, and research is starting to show that our technological attachment is reshaping how are brains work in ways that we don’t yet fully understand. One result of prevalent technology use is our growing inability to focus. John Eldredge pictured below.

Eldredge states in the introduction, “There’s a madness to our moment, and we need to name it for the lunacy it is. Because it’s taking our lives hostage.”

Later he writes, “We’ve been sucked into a pace of life nobody is enjoying.” We can’t even fully learn about one current event before the next ones is splashing across news headlines.

Last week I was working from home one day, and we ordered a pizza for lunch. I placed the order and paid over the phone with my credit card, and got enveloped in a project. When the doorbell rang, I was startled into remembering the pizza. Our dog started his normal a “predator has arrived” barking and Amelia, our three-year-old, started her happy dance about the pizza. I finally made it to the door after calming our dog and toddler. An older gentleman was patiently waiting for me with our pizza.

I frantically opened the door and remembered I didn’t have any cash to tip. I told him I’d be right back. He graciously said, “No rush, we all need to slow down a little. But we never do.” That struck me. There’s wisdom in his response.

The book discusses the concept of “benevolent detachment.” We have news about the Suez Canal in Egypt being blocked, the North Korean dictator shooting nukes into the ocean, shootings in Atlanta, and all kinds of mind-bending events notifying us in real time on our phones or newsfeeds. All of these things require us to have some level of vested interest to understand them or even consume the content.

Benevolent detachment in practice is choosing to care about these things, but not using all of your emotional energy to invest in problems that we have little to no control in helping. It’s detaching, so that our minds have room to focus on our souls. Distraction can be an enemy.

It also discusses, how we often don’t have proper transitions from one thing to the next. We go from one task to the other without a mental break. This creates a bleed over into other areas of our lives. For example, we may rightly get worked up about a recent shooting. We may become angry over someone’s malice, but then we take that angry attitude into our relationship with our spouse or children.

Destin

Later in the book he talks about observing a man walking his dog, but the dog doesn’t cooperate. The dog stubbornly walks behind the man on its leash.

The author writes, “That’s my soul; that’s me and my soul. I’m trying to get my soul to come along in a way of life it just doesn’t want to cooperate with. Pay attention: if it feels like you’re dragging your soul along behind you, take notice. Maybe you’re asking it to work at the speed of advanced technology; maybe it means you’re asking it to move too quickly through a myriad of challenges in your life, with no transition. It might just need to lie on its back and put its paws in the air for a few minutes.”

John Eldredge is a Christian and the point of him illuminating these issues is to make the point that when our lives are cluttered with social media or the 24/7 news cycle, or whatever it may be for you, it leaves little time to know Jesus and listen to his leading. Jesus doesn’t come to you with flashing red notifications like Facebook to tell you something, but he comes gently and softly. Our spiritual develop may be hindered by constantly hopping from one thing to the next.

I hope you found my feedback on the book insightful. This book was so beneficial to me that we’re planning on listening to the audio version on our upcoming beach trip to Florida.

I have two extra copies of Get Your Life Back, and I’d like to FedEx a copy to the first two people who reply to this email with their name and mailing address. This is a gift from me to you and there is no cost or obligation.

Amelia got balloons for her birthday in December and she recently asked for another one. When Mallory and Amelia went to the grocery store this week, Amelia quickly spotted the balloons. It’s amazing that the smallest things bring such joy to children and a good reminder for us to look for joy in the little things.

Until next week,

David C. Treece,

Financial Advisor

864.641.7955

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