Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture by David Murray. Crossway. 208 pages. 2017
The author, whose blog is daily “must reading” for me, writes of serious physical experiences that he believes God gave him not only to teach him, but also to help other men (he is working with his wife to write a similar book for women) who have burned out or are about to. Life had become a restless, busy blur of ministry obligations and opportunities for him.
The book is addressed to Christian men in general, but with a regular focus upon Christian ministry leaders in particular. He writes of his experiences of coaching men who have experienced burnout through the “Reset Garage” and five grace deficits. He states that as long as these five grace deficits exist in the lives of Christians, the wrecker’s yard is going to keep filling with broken and burned-out believers. But by connecting God’s grace more and more to our daily lives—by growing in these five graces—we can learn how to live grace-paced lives in a burnout culture. That’s what the book will train the reader to live out.
Through this book, he helps the reader to reset your life so that you can avoid crashing, or recover from it, by establishing patterns and rhythms that will help you live a grace-paced life and get you to the finish line successfully and joyfully. He wants to persuade you to a better and more useful life; but also wants to persuade you of the seriousness of your situation.
He begins with a helpful checklist arranged in categories that will help the reader to identify danger signs that our present pace may prematurely end our race. What he wants us to do is to give us a reality check, to find out where we really are, how you really are, and who you really are. The next step is to analyze your checklist, to gauge the seriousness of these warning lights. He writes that there is a way back, a way to reset your life, to get all of the dimensions back on track, and start enjoying a grace-paced life. He writes that what excites him the most about resetting men’s lives is seeing the new joy with which they now run their races.
The author then helps us to figure out how we got to where we are, and what caused these various issues. In the rest of the book he takes the reader through repair bays in the Reset Garage, as he helps us perform a step-by-step reset of our life. Throughout he shares relevant texts from the Bible, examples from his own life and his experiences counseling other men, as well as helpful research. He writes that although these are all life events over which we have little or no control, we are responsible for our reactions to them. Our responses can make some situations, or their impact upon us, better or worse.
In the repair bays, he covers such topics as rest, leading with humility in the home and the local church to practical things like spiritual disciplines, time management, diet, and exercise. Throughout he is practical, grace centered, serious, transparent, realistic and encouraging as he shares his own story and the stories of others. This book, one of my favorites of the year, would be a good book to either read individually or perhaps even better yet with other men in our always connected culture.