I’m not much of a reader. I wish this wasn’t true. But, for me, reading books is a lot like eating vegetables. There isn’t anything about it I enjoy. Yes, you understood that correctly – I don’t like ANY vegetables. Just ask my wife! But believe me when I say, “I wish I liked vegetables.” It would sure make eating healthy a lot easier and much more enjoyable. Fortunately I have found an alternative that seems to work for me. Every morning I chug a V8 (low sodium of course). It’s not that I enjoy V8, but through the magic of a blender I can down an entire day’s vegetables in about 8 seconds. It’s kind of like a veggie bronco ride! I fully grasp that this isn’t as nutritious as eating fresh, real vegetables, however, it’s certainly better than not getting any greenage.
As for my dislike of reading, well, I have a metaphorical V8 for that as well. Books on tape! Actually, it’s books on iPod, but the latter really doesn’t sound as good. Being a full time musician I spend countless hours on the road. Perhaps one day I’ll have a bus driver, but for now it’s usually me sitting behind the wheel of my overstuffed Honda Element. Rather than scan the dial every time the signal fades or risk growing painfully tired of my current CD collection, I’ve decided that listening to books on tape is a great way to keep my drives interesting.
My latest digital book purchase was Andy Stanley’s The Principle of the Path. I listened to most of this book as I returned from a festival in Ohio to my home in Nashville, TN. During this drive Andy pounded home one of the simplest, yet most profound points I’ve ever heard. He said, “Our destination is determined by our path! “ Think about it. Where we end up is a result of the direction we choose.
It sounds elementary, and it is. However, I find myself living as if this principle isn’t true. For example I’m not incredibly out of shape, however, I would love to get back the six-pack abs I had as a college athlete. Right now I’m about 15 pounds away from that goal. And, although I’d really like to end up at a destination that includes those abs and doesn’t include my 15 extra pounds, the path I’m on won’t ever lead me to that destination. My average diet and average workout routine will NEVER result in a better-than-average physique. The same principle can be applied to my guitar skills. I would love to become an amazing guitar player – the kind that can melt both faces and hearts. However, if I continue along the path I’m currently on (practicing maybe an hour a week), I will never reach that destination.
Perhaps the most important life application I took from Andy Stanley’s book deals with my relationship with God. I desire a destination where I’m so close to God and so tuned in to His voice that He is able to use me in incredible ways. I hope that one day people will trust me to give godly counsel on some of their most important decisions. I would love to be defined as a man “after God’s own heart”. However, I now realize that if I am ever going to arrive at that destination some things need to change. My current path of luke-warm passion, apathetic prayers, and sporadic scripture reading will NEVER get me there.
I’m ready to change some of the paths I’m on. Are you?