This is not a brand new book. I read it for the first time about 9 months ago, and have just now completed my second reading. A Journey Worth Taking, published last year (2007) was written by Charles Drew, who is the pastor of of a church near Columbia University in NYC. This is a book that really deserved a second read. Not because it is difficult or unclear, but rather because it has some important considerations that, at least for me, required that second look.
The subtitle to the book is “Finding Your Purpose in This World.” That conjures up thoughts of Rick Warren’s multi-million copy selling The Purpose Driven Life (PDL). Having read both PDL and Drew’s book (in fact both of them twice) I can say that while discovering one’s “life-purpose” may be the common thread in their titles, they are distinctly different.
I am sure that PDL has been helpful to many people in starting, or renewing a relationship with their creator and savior. However, in drawing a contrast between PDL and A Journey Worth Taking, I would describe PDL, (as the writer of Hebrews did in ch. 5) to the milk needed by an infant, while those more mature in Christ require solid food. Readers will find a more hearty diet in A Journey Worth Taking.
Drew organizes his propositions around what he calls “four big ideas”:
Human life comes with built-in purpose.
Something goes wrong with how we express our purpose.
What gets ugly and destructive can be remade beautiful and right.
What we do matters, because we are going somewhere.
These “four big ideas” might also be thought of in the more doctrinal terms of: creation, fall, redemption, and consummation.
Drew then suggests that our purpose can be thought of as three different levels of “calling.” Our primary calling is to God and to other people. Our secondary calling is to self-discovery, by which Drew means a faithful and joyful expression of who we are and who we were made to be. Our tertiary calling then is to service, that is, to do certain necessary tasks that simply need to be done in our fallen and imperfect world.
270 pages in length, 21 chapter in all, with discussion questions for individuals or groups at the end of each chapter, this is a good book that should be read if you are serious about understanding your purpose driven life.