Thursday, August 16, 2012


Wreckings, Callings, and Compassion

It was a pleasure to read a book that shared so much of my sentiments on suffering and just how real and raw pain really is. In “Wrecked,” Jeff Goins notices that we all share a common ground; maybe we’ve heard too much or seen too much, been hurt or in pain, or seen this in others.

But that out of this God was in the business of moving “in Budapest but also in Boston.”

Jeff points out it takes a “deep, reckless faith that confounds the world” to share in its suffering. This is being wrecked, he says.

I sped through this book, not in the this-book-reads-too-fast kind of way, but I just had to keep going. It spoke to my life and my work and my heart, as if to sigh with relief that no, I’m not the only one who feels struck by the way community can infiltrate your life and how the cost of what you give up when you work with people is somehow totally worth it every time, and that you end up learning more from others each time you make a connection, and of course, the simple things, like commitment can be hard.

I love how Jeff distinguishes between how “you  can’t stay wrecked forever; you eventually have to move on. Choosing to do so may be the greatest wrecking we experience.” Meaning, there is a difference between being wrecked and experiencing compassion for others. Wrecked can be an awakening, but really, it is about us. It is something that happens to us. Compassion is about others, Jeff explains. You have to dig into what counts.

Goins talks about doing work that matters. He talks about how sometimes work you have to do and work you are meant to do can be difficult to sift through, that both can exhaust you at times, but in a sense, he challenges readers to really listen in and focus on what is your calling and to do the work you are supposed to be doing.

There are  many not only challenging but also encouraging parts in the book that I think can speak to people right where they are, in the midst of not only continuing to find where God has placed them, but with reminders to persevere and stand firm in the calling and purpose He has given to them. Sometimes, it does take wreckings and different encounters and experiences to surface various pursuits God may have for us. I believe that it does take grit and often times suffering along the way to see a little more clearly that thing that we know is “worth doing.”

As Jeff says, “the challenge in pursuing a true vocation is not to wait for the thing itself – that will lead to procrastination – but to train yourself in the art of making commitments. Because we don’t know when we’re going to fall in love, all we can do is prepare for that moment. The same is true for your calling.”

We won’t always have precise clarity, but we can have trust in God along the way.

1 comment:

  1. This post is helpful for me as I try to corral some of my wild, running-all-over thoughts as they relate compassion. I've been too chicken to read this book thus far, so good for you for diving right in to the hard stuff.