A manual explores the meaning of success for Christians.
Schulte’s (The Last Leaf, 2018) punchy book assures readers throughout that they have a purpose in this life and a duty to find out what that objective is—and that the path to that discovery isn’t free of obstacles. “The devil wants to steal God’s mission for you,” readers are told. And the challenge for all Christians is to rise above their circumstances and make plans to realize the spiritual ambitions God wants everyone to have. The author is concerned with outcomes. A Christian’s nature is determined by actions, and, in the reading set forth here, the results are built on obedience to God’s will—a submission that becomes pure when it springs from love rather than rote compliance. Schulte lays out his own spiritual ambitions, including to feel the Lord’s presence, to hear “the gentle wind of God,” to inspire others to do likewise, and to seek inner spiritual peace. And all of these goals are predicated on the love between God and the faithful, a state that can often be challenging in its own right to achieve and maintain. As the author points out with typical, friendly bluntness, “Stuff crowds out God.” In ample and engaging personal asides, Schulte stresses that the surest way to stop stuff from crowding out the Lord is to cultivate a relationship with the Creator through prayer, which the author characterizes simply as talking with God. In the pursuit of this relationship, the faithful are encouraged to be “bold”—a quality that, Schulte maintains in his readable book, comes about when believers open their souls to God. “He rummages around,” the author asserts, “dusts this, throws junk out, and basically cleans up the joint.” The portrait of the faith relationship that emerges from Schulte’s list of ambitions is a warm and appealing one, something his fellow Christians should find extremely inviting.
An accessible and compassionate reimagining of ambition in the service of faith.