I started reading this book for review almost six weeks ago now. It is not the genre of book that you sit down with and read through non-stop; I suppose a person could do that, but they would be missing out on what this book has to offer. As I mentioned in my last post regarding Soul Revolution by John Burke, the book messed me up…and I still contend, in a good way. About the book though, Burke facilitates and walks the reader through a journey of discovery with the vehicle of an experiment called the 60-60 challenge (more about the challenge here). In a nutshell, it provides a vehicle to changing our mindset and habits toward becoming intentional in our focus and awareness of God’s presence in every aspect of daily life. Outside of the “nutshell” it is so much more than that, and this has been part of the reason for my lengthy time in reading and reviewing this book.
I don’t intend to quote long passages of the book or summarize it for you; there are multiple reviews and a synopsis on amazon.com that can provide you with that information. What I am going to say is this; anyone who is serious about finding true relationship with the God of all creation, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…the God who came to the earth in flesh as Jesus Christ, and has wondered whether a real and intimate relationship could be had with this God, should try the 60/60 challenge. I have practiced intentionality in my awareness of God’s presence and have personal experience that provides me evidence that intimate relationship and fellowship with God is possible. I also have personal experience that provides me evidence proving that when I am not intentional in being aware of God’s presence and influence in my life, I am prone to miss Him, disregard Him, and be non-responsive to His promptings. The worst thing about this acknowledgment is that it is so easy to not recognize this non-responsive heart attitude as it happens. It is so incredibly easy to be sucked into the vortex and current of life and so exceedingly difficult to break free from it. Placing a premium and putting a priority on my time and focus of God helps me to maintain the perspective that I need in order to hear and respond to His “voice.”
A few highlights and points to the Soul Revolution and 60/60 challenge I’d like to share include first, the method by which Burke uses to introduce our reconnection to God. He recognizes that it takes time for us to build habits and it also takes time for us to break them and build new habits. This is the foundation of the 60/60 challenge. It is, literally, a 60 day program by which we endeavor to build a new discipline and focus into our daily routing and life. Along the way, the book shares real life stories of people who have accepted the challenge and share their experiences. I found this inspiring as I was refocusing my heart and mind on God during the challenge. I had mentioned in my last post about Soul Revolution that I intended to practice the 60/60 challenge beginning in Jan. I could not wait and began practicing the challenge before January began; additionally, I am currently involved with continuing the challenge and have incorporated several of the spiritual disciplines that John Burke introduces over the course of the book and challenge. This brings me to my second point; Burke uses the challenge and this time of focused intentions upon God to introduce and give basic explanation of a number of the spiritual disciplines that help to form “right” habits for making time for God and responding to His desire to transform people into His image. This is the thrust of the book’s tagline; “How imperfect people become all God intended,” and it works…for those who will put their all into it.
I can’t say enough positive things about the book; however, it should not be taken up without forethought given to it. It is not a quick fix for broken and messed up lives. This book is about life transformation and becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Most High God. For people serious about that relationship and new way of life, you cannot go wrong with this book and/or using it for a starting point in the disciplined life.