Monday, 28 May 2012

A purpose driven life?

So I've finally given in and started ready my (personally signed *name drop*) copy of Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life, which has been sat looking at me from my bookshelf for a year and a half. Being the best-selling non-fiction hardback book in history (was he worried a paperback would outstrip the Bible?) I'm clearly in good company.

I've never read a self help book and Rick's heavily branded Christianity isn't something which, at first sight, sits terribly comfortably with me. But having been to his uber-Church in sunny California and met the really perfectly nice man himself, I decided I ought to try it.

Here's Rick, looking a bit shiny and wearing a headset:

The book is split into 40 brief chapters which Rick instructs you to read one of each day. 4 days in and 3 chapters down, I'm not doing too terribly. Some reflections so far:

1. A big Amen to his opening line, "It's not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfilment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness."

2. "Life on earth is just the dress rehearsal for the real production" (Chapter 4). This I'm not too sure about, in the way I'm to sure about some classical Buddhist philosophies. I think as a yoof I'd have been down with this, but now it seems to do injustice to the wonder of creation. I vividly remember the dress rehearsal of  a Sixth Form production of Dracula I was in at school. I remember not remembering my lines, having not bothered to learn them as I was too busy snogging my co-star after school every day for 6 weeks; and having a twenty minute giggling fit during a monologue by a boy called Dave who was (for the play, not just for fun) being a very convincing madman from Scotland.

Do we take dress rehearsals that seriously? I'm not so sure. I know the final curtain isn't the end but that should never be an excuse to faff about now. This life is precious.

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