Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Life-Charged Book

Well the timing couldn’t be better on the launch of this new blog. I set up “The Life-Charged Life” here at WordPress just a week ago, because my “Blogger” host site crashed and stayed down way too long. I picked the title based on my own observations regarding the question, “If I had to narrow it down, what is it that I’m really writing about?”
It turns out that what’s driving me is this growing sense of responsibility to the urgency of life. This is different and more nuanced than the exclusively religious sensibility I thought I had been writing about. Yet, at the same time, this is very much a response to my commitment to live as a Follower of the Way.
By “responsibility” I mean I have this huge awareness of the potential held in “being”, and at the same time I see such damning evidence of falling short. I have to say that it breaks my heart.
Let me try to explain… 
I believe I’ve said this before, but the idea is so important I have to re-state my position here. I’m finding that it doesn’t make sense any more for me to talk about my “spiritual life” as if it is something other than, or a sub-set of, my life in general.
I just can’t separate the two any more. And the implications of this realization are significant.
  1. First, it means the end of compartmentalization; I’m either a Follower of the Way, or I’m not.
  2. And second, there’s the implication that everyone – not just the Christian – has a spiritual life. The question therefore becomes one of awareness, of tapping in, and of “how do I respond to this reality?”
Critically important (and lest some of you worry that I have lost my grip on theology) is my understanding that a rich spirituality is imperative if we are to grasp hold of the life that truly is life. There are not – in other words – parallel disciplines here, one set of recommendations for the person of faith and then another set for one who choses otherwise.

“Ten Life-Charged Words”

Again with the timing. I’ve had a book proposal in the works for a while . The idea considers exactly what it means to live a life-charged life. My publisher – Upper Room Books – is interested in more writing from me about what it means to be a fully engaged man of faith. So, bringing the two elements together, I suggested “Ten Life-Charged Words for Men”.
Yesterday afternoon the publication committee met and decided to give me a contract!
Now this is going to be fast-tracked. Typically, a book takes 18-months to two-years from conception to publication. This one will be on the shelves early next summer! That’s why I can begin to talk about it today.
The title isn’t “Ten Life-Charged Words for Christian Men”, because I believe every man in North America (how’s that for a target demographic!) has the capacity for a “Life-Charged Life” (every woman, too, but there are several reasons we’re targeting men with this book). The potential for fully engaged spirituality is loaded into and critical to each one of the ten concepts I’ll be presenting.
I believe with all my being that choosing to follow The Way of Jesus releases the full potency of life. The Christ-life inhabits the complete/unabridged meaning of “passion”, and “community”, and “service” and the other concepts I’m presenting.
This is a book that I’m confident will bridge some of the distance between “secular” and “spiritual” publications. Because I’m convinced that we’re essentially talking about the same thing, and that we can be (and should be) in this conversation together!
So please pray for me as I write over the next few weeks. Pray that my words will be charged with authentic life, that the project will touch and inspire and encourage many lives, and that – because more of us embrace “The Life-Charged Life”, this world will be significantly more redeemed.
Peace (because this world needs it) – DEREK

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