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Sunday, 5 June 2016

The Life God Wants You To Have - Gregory K Popcak - Discovering The Divine Plan When Human Plans Fail


The Life God Wants You To Have
Discovering The Divine Plan When Human Plans Fail
Gregory K. Popcak Ph.D.
Crossroad Publishing Company
ISBN 9780824526962


I picked up this book after listening to some audio presentations by Gregory K. Popcak. And to be honest this book was an incredible read. In the introduction Dr. Popcak uses an example of horses and zebras. The premise is that in life when we are thinking about changes either in our careers, marriages, and relationships often we are horses who want to be zebras. We want a major change and we want it now. We desire to jump the fence and join the zebras because their grass is greener. When in fact most of the time we need to work on being better horses where we are. Instead of getting a divorce and starting over, work on who you are and work on the relationship. Most of the time we what to make that chance because of being bored. Instead of changing jobs, become the best horse in the job you currently have. No he does state that for major life decisions sometimes we are being called to jump that fence but not for marriage and only after great discernment.

And that is what the rest of the book does. It teaches you how to discern if you are a horse that needs to be better at what and where you are. And if that is not the case it gives you the tools to help decide if God really is calling you to a major change and how to pursue it if that is the case. Dr. Popcak states: "That a sense of meaning comes from attempting to use fully the gifts you have been given for the good of others and the glory of God in whatever circumstances you find yourself. While certain activities may be more meaningful than others because they give you a greater opportunity to use your gifts, all activities can be the source of a sense of meaningfulness - to one degree or another - if you are constantly striving to bring everything you have to the task at hand, whether that task is a job, role, or relationship. By contrast, a sense of boredom and meaninglessness comes when we hold back. Every time we merely act as if we are going through the motions, or we treat the work or relationships we have in too casual a manner, we rob a moment of its potential to be meaningful, and therefore to be a source of joy." Basically we get bored and want change because we are not really putting in the effort. And if that is the case we need to learn to work at being a better horse, not trying to be a zebra. The grass is not greener in that other job, in that other relationship, it only appears that way and once the novelty wears off we are back in the same place.  Dr. Popcak illustrates each chapter with a number of case studies from his years in practice. The order of the book is:

Part One: Getting Started
1. "When I grow up …"
2. You Have to Start With Yourself
a. Meaningfulness Quiz
b. Intimacy Quiz
c. Virtue Quiz


Part Two: Walking in F.A.I.T.H.
3. Follow the Rules for Healthy Discernment
4. Act, Even When in Doubt
5. Investigate the Causes of Your Anxiety
6. Take Others into Account
7. Hold On Through Adversity


Part Three: Further Steps:
8. Conclusion - Moving from Suffering to Surrender
9. Epilogue: Finding Strength in Community

Throughout this book Dr. Popcak teaches us strategies to discern God's direction for our life; especially if the life we thought we were called to life is falling apart. He teaches us to seek our guidance from the Holy Spirit, from others in our circles and if needed from professional counsellors. I know many people who have been through hardships in relationships, or careers who moved to a new pasture because they thought the grass was greener; when all that happened was they ended up making major changes again often in a short time. This book could have saved them a lot of heartache, pain, uncertainty and even loss.

I highly recommend this book, and know that even I will be rereading it again.


Books by Gregory K. Popcak:
Parenting With Grace
Holy Sex!
For Better Forever
Beyond The Birds And The Bees
The Exceptional Seven Percent
Broken Gods
Just Married
The Life God Wants You To Have
God Help Me
Then Comes Baby
When Divorce Is Not An Option
Life Shouldn't Look Like This
A Marriage Made For Heaven
How To Find True Love
In Love For Life
And There Was No One There To Comfort Me
Parent Power
Rise Up And Walk

Audio Lectures from Lighthouse:
Calming The Emotional Storms
For Better Forever
A Guide To Raising (Almost) Perfect Kids

Making P.E.A.C.E. With Difficult People

(Note: this books is part of a series: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)

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