Max Lucado’s book Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot (Nelson: Nashville, 2005) is not a book for scholars. Lucado, in fact, is not a scholar at all. But he has written a wonderfully readable and immensely practical book. A friend gave it to me several months ago suggesting that it was his favorite “life-changing” book for 2006. I put it aside thinking at the time that I wouldn’t benefit that much from reading it. (I am quite sure that my pride shows forth abundantly when I conclude about a matter in this way.) I have always appreciated Max Lucado, at least as a clear and effective writer. He writes with an elegance and simplicity that I envy (not sinfully I think).
This easy-to-read book reasons that God gave each of us a uniqueness, a talent, or a carefully designed skill, something that is yours to develop and thus use to honor and serve him in the fullest sense. By using this personal uniqueness, which Lucado calls "finding your sweet spot" (a sports metaphor), you will fulfill your reason for living and the common, ordinary, every-day hum-drum life you may now be living will become history. Lucado says that when you find this uniqueness, the reason for which God made you to be you, that something for which he made you alone to do, you will be stretched to live a truly God-centered and happy life. I have to agree.
How then do we thrive? How do we find what “our story” is and then truly live it well? Lucado offers insightful common sense counsel that is faithful to the intent and purpose of what Scripture really teaches. He argues that your “sweet spot” is the place where your everyday life, God’s glory and your human strengths all converge to give you that sense that you have found the sweet spot. Another way to say this is that you are using your uniqueness (what you do), to make a big deal out of God (why you do it), and thus your every day life (where you do it) is anything but ordinary. This is a consistent way of expressing what the older theology of the Reformed faith clearly taught even though this writer does not appear to consciously be a Reformed Christian.
Sometimes you do get clear biblical insight from popular Christian writers who can say well what theologians have a hard time saying in order for ordinary people to understand them. This seems to me to be the case with this excellent book. I commend it to you if you are looking for a simple, but extremely helpful, approach to living life to the full.