Soulprint: book review part 1

There are no ordinary people. You have never met a mere mortal.”

— CS Lewis

Who am I now that I’m not who I was?

This is a question that has been running around my head for the past year. David and I are, predictably, in a season of change in our lives. Part of that change was inevitable: our kids are moving out and all those responsibilities will soon rest mainly on their shoulders. This is an amazing transition, and it has humbled me to watch the girls begin it. Another part of our season of change is due to our family circumstances. We just sold my dad’s business in Boston, and are now entering a new phase in our own business lives as a result. Put both these circumstances together and — in my opinion — you have an opportunity for God to step in and write His story all over your future!

So this is the state of affairs as I begin to read Soulprint, by Mark Batterson. You may remember that Mark’s first book, “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day,” was my first in-depth blog review and set the course for not only Coffee Shop Journal, but my spiritual growth plan for the past four years. (You can find the first of the Lion posts here, if you want to go back and read them.) Mark has since written two other books which I have thoroughly enjoyed, but didn’t impact me like Lion.

Soulprint is getting ready to set my course for the next few years. In a return to the kind of vision of hope that moved me years ago, Mark Batterson is writing about God’s unique plan for us to step into our future and accept the vision God has for each of us. Our fingerprints, he says, are unique. So are our “soulprints.” An that uniqueness is not just God’s unbelievable gift to you, the lottery you won in life. It is a responsiblity! He has planned for you to be…YOURSELF!

Is that not the most amazing thought?

You are good enough to do the task God has designed for you. As Mark says in the first chapter, “You were created to worship God in a way that no one else can. How? By living a life no one else can — your life. You have a unique destiny to fulfill, and no one can take your place. You place an irreplaceable role in God’s grand narrative.” Anything less than being all that God created us to be amounts to forfeiting our spiritual birthright.

Stop and think about that again.

How many times have we read the story of Esau in Genesis 26 and wondered how in the world could Esau have sold his birthright for…soup? Really, Esau? Soup?

But maybe we are doing the same thing. Oh, we might be selling for a slightly higher price — at least a few filet mignon dinners — but when we stop being all we can be, we’ve sold out just like Esau.

“Let this promise soak into your spirit…It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”

For the rest of the book, Batterson uses the life of David to illustrate how God takes all the moments of our life and connects the dots into the role he has for us to play.

“Every past experience is preparation for some future opportunity. And one way God redeems the past is by helping us see it through His eyes, His providence. So the key to fulfilling your future destiny is in your past memories.”

David the lion-killer (oh! There come the lions again!) is transformed into David the giant-killer. God is literally hand-crafting us one at a time for the destiny He planned.

I don’t know about you, but those thoughts challenged and comforted me. My mind went back to the day we sold the business up north. On the phone with Buddy Hoffman, a pastor and dear friend who has mentored us over the years, I was wondering out loud what was next for us. Buddy said, “One thing you know: it will look nothing like the past and yet it will also look everything like the past.” It’s good to know that God never expected me to be my Dad, or my Mom, or my pastor, or Mark Batterson, or the many authors I admire. He never planned for me to plan my life around them or anyone else. He planned for me to be me.

“The end goal is not a revelation of who you are. The end goal is a revelation of who God is. After all, you won’t find yourself until you find God. The only way to discover who you are is to discover who God is because you are made in His image….He sets us free from who we’re not, so we can become who we were destined to be.”

— Soulprint

[I rarely do in-depth processing of books on the blog, usually settling for a brief recommendation and what I learned from a particular book or author. But Soulprint is hitting me at a deeper level…so be prepared for at least several posts while I take this journey! And take my advice…go grab a copy.]

By Marla Saunders

I am passionately devoted to living my life in the places God has given me. Over the years those places have changed: from homeschooler to businesswoman, from consumer to storyteller. These days I'm focusing on building a new business and figuring out what it means to do everything with integrity and informed by faith.