Odds are that you don’t feel like a superhero every day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be one to somebody one day. And what if today is the day? Erwin Raphael McManus, bestselling author of AN UNSTOPPABLE FORCE and CHASING DAYLIGHT, is back! His latest release, WIDE AWAKE, challenges readers to live with their eyes wide open for all that God may want to do with their lives. Using his trademark inspirational voice, McManus takes his audience through a series of types of individuals and the strengths they display.
Chapters include “Dream --- The Artists,” “Expect --- The Believer” and “Create --- The Activist.” While no one naturally has all these strengths or abilities, the chapters are written in such a way that anyone can learn from someone quite different from themselves. And in the process, they learn to live with their eyes wide open to all that is possible.
“I am convinced if you begin to live wide awake, you will no longer be haunted by that little bit of sadness in the mornings,” McManus writes. “In its place will be a sense of awe that your life could be so extraordinary. Your life may not be any easier, and you may not be wealthier or finally have that house in Malibu. But you will know that you must get out of bed and live wide awake every day, because there is so much to be done.”
One of the standout chapters is “Adapt --- The Alchemist,” in which McManus looks at the ability to reinvent your life. He suggests that it’s possible to make major changes, shift direction and try something new. No matter what your age, it’s never too late. He points to Old Testament characters, including Daniel and Esther, as stories of those who faced incredible opposition and yet still managed to go from surviving to thriving. He notes that when you may face challenges and obstacles in life, you have two choices: overcome or adapt. While many people write about overcoming, far too few discuss adapting. Now adapting is not giving up or giving in. It’s how to be flexible and pliable, make the most of what we’ve been given and in the process become an inspiration to countless others.
Throughout the book, McManus’s call is to live lives wide awake --- particularly as Christians. He says that one of the greatest compliments he ever received was from someone who said, “Life just pours out of you.” We are not designed to dream about living but to truly live. That means having the courage to begin living right here and right now. McManus’s words are full of vigor and vim. An undeniable energy fills the pages --- even when some of the editing leaves something to be desired.
WIDE AWAKE is a contagious book. You’ll find your hope renewed, your desire to live and give strengthened. And you may just find yourself feeling more like a superhero than you ever imagined. The possibilities seem limitless when you’re willing to live wide awake. Highly recommended to leaders and fans of McManus.
Reviewed by Margaret Oines on November 13, 2011