Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Book Review: The Principle of the Path - Andy Stanley

A lot of times in life, we wonder why despite our good intentions and our efforts at working hard, we end up in situations with relationships, jobs, and finances that we never wanted. Nobody sits around and says, "when I grow up I want to have a failed marriage and have a debt load so high that I have to work three jobs to keep from losing my house." So, how is it that if we have positive goals and dreams that we end up so far away from what we wanted if we had really good intentions?

If we could step back a few years in our lives, wouldn't we make a couple decisions a little different now that we know how they panned out? I know I certainly would.

In his book, The Principle of the Path, Andy Stanley suggests that our destinations are a result of the path we are travelling on, not our good intentions. and despite how hard we might be praying, if we are headed in the wrong direction, nothing but a change of direction is going to right the situation.
He relates a story of taking off on an unopened road that was under construction and speeding away into the night. Fortunately, someone saw him zoom by and run him down and stopped him before he launched into a swamp where the road construction had not completed a bridge. Without someone who had been down the road that knew it abruptly ended, he would have ended in a swamp.

He goes on to suggest that it might be in our best interest to seek out someone that has been through life a little ahead of us and seek their advice on life impacting decisions. If we want to have a good marriage, maybe we should seek out an older couple that seem to have the kind of relationship we would like to have and pick their brains. If we want financial or career success, maybe we should seek out an older person that has achieved what we would like to achieve and obtain their advice.

Why don't we do that naturally? Pride? Too much self-confidence to admit what we don't know?

This is a very thought provoking book. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to make wiser decisions.


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Madding:

I'll be happy to give this book a look, on your recommendation. It has been my experience, however, that if you pray and ask for guidance, you will invariably be led back to the Ten Commandments, which spell it out pretty clearly.

My probablem is that I approach certain things like Saint Thomas Aquinas... "Dear Lord, plese make me chaste... But not today!"

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

RichardM said...

Thank you for the book recommendation. I'm flying to Raleigh, NC, this weekend and I was looking for an audiobook (this book is available on Audible) so the timing is perfect. Downloaded today and looking forward to listening.


Canajun said...

My father-in-law had an expression which, translated from German, went something like, "too soon old, too late smart". For some reason the human species seems hardwired to have to relearn the truth each and every time. How many wars are we in today based on the same policies that have failed time and again over the course of history? The current financial disaster we're in has historical parallels and could have been avoided if we had actually learned the lessons of the past instead of assuming the laws of economics had somehow changed because there were some "smarter" bankers in charge. On a more personal scale, how many times have you reached out to touch "wet paint" just to see if it really was wet? Or entered into a relationship with the intent of changing the other person to fit your idedal? The list goes on and on and on, which doesn't say much about the choices we make individually or collectively.

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