Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Purpose Driven Life -- What on Earth am I Here For?

I did the Purpose Driven Life study in a small group with my church back when it first came out and I then thought it was a great book and made me think a lot about my life.  But time goes by and life goes on and a lot of the things I thought would change in my life ended up staying the same.  And you see the same old book jacket on your shelf and never think to take it down again.
But some books are worth picking up again after a number of years and I think this is one of them.  And this new edition will has features that will appeal to young adults who were too young the first time it came out as well as the technologically savvy.
Back when this book came out, people didn't bring their Bibles to church in the form of an iPad, iPod or iPhone and they weren't watching TV and movies on devices they could hold in their hands.  But now they do and this book has features that take advantage of the advances in technology.  At the beginning of each chapter, there is a QR code (the funny looking block of pixels) and when you take a photo of it with your smartphone, you get a 3 minute video inroduction to the chapter from Rick Warren plus an audio lesson for the end of the chapter and a Bible study guide.  I have a "stupid phone" so I borrowed a friend's phone to try it out.  For those of us a little behind the digital revolution, there is a URL you can type into your internet browser and get the same features on your computer.
In addition to the tech-y bells and whistles, there are two new chapters at the end of the book -- making this a 42 day journey instead of the old 40 days.  This means if you want to do this for Lent, you need to start a little bit in advance. 
The new chapters are, like the rest of the book, really good. They are on two things that keep Christians from fulfilling God's purpose for their lives -- the envy trap and the people pleaser trap.  The chapter on envy felt like it was written just for me, especially when he said that envy is an insult to God because you are saying God made a mistake with your life by not giving you the things other people have that you envy.  Wow.  And people pleasing/fear of disapproval is another almost universal issue.
The new chapters, audio and video messages improve what was already a very good book.  It's time to do this Bible study again.