Empty Shelf Challenge Book #9: “Wrecked” by Jeff Goins

I finished my 9th book for the #EmptyShelf challenge.

Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life by Jeff Goins

I was very excited to read this book. First, I was excited because I am a fan of Jeff Goins. I enrolled in his writing course and while I haven’t kept up with it at the pace I hoped, I’ve done several lessons and have benefitted from his methods. Second, I was excited because my library had it! It’s the simple things, sometimes ūüôā

I also love the premise. From the book’s description: “Wrecked¬†is about the life we are afraid to live. It’s¬†about¬†radical sacrifice and selfless service–how we find¬†purpose in the¬†midst of pain.¬†It’s¬†a look at how we discover fulfillment in the least¬†likely of places. It’s about¬†living like we mean it. It’s a guide to growing¬†up and giving your life away, helping you live in the tension between the next adventure¬†and the daily mundane.”

So several weeks ago, I dove right into this book.

There were several things I appreciated in Wrecked. First, I really appreciated Jeff’s honest thoughts on his work with the homeless. After watching a close family member struggle through homelessness, God cultivated in me a heart for those with no place to lay their heads. I wrote an article for Boundless about my buddy “Friend” and what I learned from her. I found myself tearing up, reading some of the stories Jeff shares, as I recalled my own experiences. The truths he gained from these encounters resonated with me. We cannot be afraid of the dirt and mess that may come at times when we passionately follow Jesus.

Second, Jeff reminds us that, as Christians, the focus was never meant to be on ourselves. The way he chooses to word some of his thoughts on this I don’t necessarily agree with fully. But I agree with the bottom line: the point to life is not about somehow “finding ourselves.” We can only find our “true selves” through a deeper knowledge of the One who created us. Hey, I think I wrote about this in my book! I’ll quote myself: “We cannot know ourselves without truly knowing our Creator and Father.”

That said, I really wanted to love this book. I know Jeff Goins is a good writer, and I expected to get caught up not only in his story-telling but also the practical aspects of how to live a wrecked life.

I felt in Jeff’s attempt to make the book accessible, he oversimplifies some of the concepts he tries to explain. While statements such as “No one’s going to give you a map. You must make your own way.” have some truth in them, they rubbed me the wrong way. I do believe that, for the most part, God has a specific plan for our lives.¬†But Jeff is right; God doesn’t exactly give us a map. I share in that post how I used to drive myself crazy, waiting to hear from God. But extending that out to “making my own way” is a bit of a stretch for me.

There are other such statements that didn’t sit right for me, as well as many that did. So while I definitely related with some of Jeff’s stories and experiences, I thought the book was average. It’s a good primer on why one needs to be open to being wrecked by God, wherever He may lead. I read Holy Discontent: Fueling the Fire That Ignites Personal Vision by Bill Hybels several years back and feel that is a more practical guide to figuring out what wrecks you and living out that truth.

Get Wrecked from the library and let me know what you think ūüôā

My books so far on the #EmptyShelf challenge:

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