Hurtling Headlong in the Wrong Direction

The Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley

image“Cars have problems that can be fixed. Computers have problems that can be fixed. Lawn mowers have problems that can be fixed. But generally speaking, people have directions that need to be changed.”

Prolific author and Pastor Andy Stanley sets out the straight-forward proposition that the path we choose determines our destination. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? And yet, as Stanley recounts in the numerous vignettes that illustrate this principle, many people wind up at a crisis point in life, head in hands, asking “how did I get here?” This is like jumping on I-70 west in Denver and then being surprised when you show up in Utah. Each path leads to one destination.

Stanley’s plain-spoken account of the principle makes you wonder why it needs to be spoken out loud or published. Most people are capable of analyzing the destination of the paths they choose in life. Relationships, finances or health; all of the eventual destinations are determined by the path we choose at the beginning of our journey. More often than not, we can see the destination at the end of that path, and yet, we ignore it to our peril.

The simplicity of the preceding paragraph illustrates my disappointment with this book. The principle that Andy presents is simple and requires little adornment or augmentation, and it would make for an excellent topical sermon. One, maybe two. Repeated over and over and touching on the same handful of life-paths, it becomes repetitious. Each chapter treads the same ground, albeit with different illustrations drawn from the pastor’s life experiences.

I am grateful to Thomas Nelson for providing this volume for review.

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