I thought at the beginning of reading this book that I would not be interested in a metaphor the Spirit centered around the Wild Goose Chase. But, as I began to get deeper into the book, I realized that this book was a great resource to understand how the Spirit works in mighty ways in our lives.
Part of the powerful message of the book was found in Chapter 5. Batterson explores the the nature of forgiveness and God's love for his people in very helpful ways. On page 89, he writes, "God's love for us is proactive. He doesn't wait for us to get our act together. God always makes the first move. And we're called to follow suit." Rather than sit back and watch others take the initiative to love in all the hard places, God calls us to lead with love in the circumstances of life. Batterson recalls a moving story about his grandfather's fossil collection and the time when he broke one of the fossils. This fossil collection was a 'no touch' collection and very highly prized by Batterson's grandfather. Instead of responding in anger, his grandfather gave him a hug and said, "Mark, you are far more valuable than this fossil collection." It's times like these when you see the mighty work of God's love exhibited in remarkable ways. This in fact is what the gospel teaches us, that God came from heaven to save and love sinners, even sinners who don't reserve the love and grace of God.
In chapter 6 Batterson focuses on shipwrecks, the times when everything goes array and not according to plan. Early in the chapter he writes, "We can't control what happens to us. But we can control our response" (103). There is a sharp disorientation that happens as we go through life and this disorientation is not a random act from a tyrannical God, but the sovereign will of a God who calls people to reorient their lives toward His will and for our good. Batterson writes, "God is in the business of positioning us in the right place at the right time" (108). Life becomes a frustrating conundrum of seemingly chaotic events with no purpose when we try to bring out our own meaning through every event that takes place on the stage of life.
Overall, I thought this book helps reorient our focus to the One who saved us by his grace. What I also liked about the book was the honest message that God is more interested in you than in your seeking to act like you've got it all together. I think this book will go a long way in providing honest engagement with God and his Word. Secondly, Wild Goose Chase brings back the sense of adventure that our faith desperately needs in an age of distraction.
Thanks to Waterbrook/Multnomah Blogging for Books program for the review copy in exchange for review.