Reach somewhere into the back of your throat and make a coughing sound. Add this sound to “AZOWN,” and you have the Hebrew word for dream, vision or revelation. If you are anything like me you look at this funny title, add the “ch” sound to the front of the word and think it might just be another book in the “Christian Life” section of the bookstore.
However, this is the perfect start of the year read. Whether you know the Lord has a vision for your life and it needs more definition, or you feel like you have been wandering without purpose this book helps. Admittedly, titles like this usually all sound the same to me. They prescribe a formula that feel unrealistic. Perhaps, pumped up on emotion you read it and like a New Year’s resolution two weeks later you have put nothing into practice.
Chazown reminds us that the “people will perish with a lack of vision,” as we are told in Proverbs 29:18. Without a clarity of what you know the Lord wants for your life, what he CREATED you for, you will feel hopeless and fall apart at the seams. We all know it, for those of us in ministry, this vision is often what compels us to keep going. Yet, many times the picture of where we are going, feels so large that we actually just get lost. Momentary sparks turn into blazes and our attention is drawn to merely putting them out. What our heart, our very life was meant for falls through our fingers.
Honestly, this is what I love most about this book. It breaks our vision down into small, edible portions that actually make us feel like we are accomplishing something. We take the extinguisher and stomp out the spark before is distracts us. For we can see, finally, clarity in where we are heading.
Craig Groeschel the pastor of Life Church, takes us through all of those pieces that enable us to really understand our dream. The book begins with analyzing our core values, spiritual gifts and past experiences. He takes the time to guide us in ways to analyze, seek our hearts, look to the Lord and pray through what each of these fractions of the puzzle mean. Simple activities that take little time, are at the end of each chapter to help keep you focused. The intersection of these portions of our lives makes our Chazown.
To turn vision into reality there needs to be a plan, he tells us. Then we figure out our goals. Break our goals into actions moments. Finally, we write down the VERY NEXT STEP to reach our goal. From large to small, then small to large, we can begin to bring passion into momentum. Many times I come to the end of a leadership book, feel inspired and then have no idea where to begin. This book enables us to understand the big picture is made up by taking literally one step at a time.
Finally, we are guided into working out the five disciplines that lead into our vision. These are our relationship with the Lord, relationships with other people, our financial life, physical health and our life’s work. These are likened to spokes on a wheel that help to make our life go ’round. We are asked to look at each of these individually, taking as much time as needed to order them and put them in action in your life.
Many times we read books that are inspirational. A day when it is done we feel deflated and defeated. Why? The feel good moment fleets away and we are left with figuring out life on our own. This author is different on every level. He walks us through the excitement, and then takes the time with us to enable us to put it into action. As a matter of fact, I have begun to implement the practices, not only in my own life, but with a student leadership group I run in the inner city. For me as I read it, I knew my basic vision the frustration came as I had put it aside. I needed to refocus and begin to take some steps out of what had become my comfort zone. (Yes, even ministry can become your comfort zone.) However, with the students, it is exciting to use what is laid out to help them see the breadth of God’s plan for their lives. Sure, some of the concepts are too mature for them. This is because they are not developed enough to have true self awareness of their potential in the Lord. HOWEVER, the concepts are so usable that I am taking it apart and we are figuring out vision, and personal mission statements and where the Lord is taking them. It is so much fun to watch their faces light up as they start to see that there is more for their life than either simply today, or an unattainable dream.
Passion comes to grips with reality in this book. Whether we need to remember or the vision God has for you has seemed hazy, focus begins to form at the end of this book. It is a resource that one can pick up and use for a lifetime.
written by Leneita Fix