“How Great is our greatest torment, that haunting thought, that the lives we long to live are not to the lives we were created to live?” -The Last Arrow.
This is my first book post to the blog! It’s a good starting place. My heavily annotated, underlined, dog-earred copy of this book will have a place on my shelf and in my life forever. This is one of those books you tell others about. What they get from the message is up to them, but what I got changed me.
Before I read The Last Arrow, I thought life happened to me. I didn’t understand certain things that had happened and were happening in my life. Erwin McManus has made it impossible for me to be complacent, and I love him for it.
In his book, this book, the message is using all that you have. “Save nothing for the next life”. Really think about how powerful that one sentence is.
As I will be doing with most everything I read, I want to share with you some of my favorite quotes from the book and what they mean to me. There is no way I can share everything with you that I loved about this book. You are just going to have to read it for yourself!
“We each have one life, but this life has eternal significance.”
This to me means two things. One, the things we do here on earth will have an effect forever. This has been proven in the environment but also in legacy’s left behind. Two, how we use our time and energy on earth will play a factor in our afterlife. I now ask myself daily, “When I meet God will I be able to say that I used everything He gave me?”. Not just as a generalized question but I imagine how I would feel, standing there in front of my creator, apologizing for throwing away a gift He gave me to use. Which leads me to my next favorite passage…
“This book has one intention: that whether you win or lose, succeed or fail, live a life of celebrity or anonymity, that when you take your last breath, you will know without reservation that you have given everything you have, everything you are, to the life you have been entrusted with.”
Wow. The life I have been entrusted with. I have been entrusted with a life of gifts and talents and creativity and my job while I’m here is to use all of them and share them.
“To be clear, there may be things from your past that go with you into the future; you just have to leave behind your past and those who choose to remain there.”
This. Is. Everything.
Before I started reading The Last Arrow I was just getting over leaving behind people who were very close to me. I was just getting over it, and I haven’t spoken to them in years. Five years since I have seen or spoken to these people and I was just getting over it. I couldn’t understand why they treated me the way they did. I hurt for a long time and didn’t know how to deal with that hurt. But my life is blessed. I love my life now so I told myself it was for the best and kept moving along. So I was getting there. But, when I read this, it told me to take those lessons, take that heartbreak and recovery and use it, because it’s not who you are now and they have no place where you are now. I needed someone to tell me that for a while.
“Sometimes you have to leave those who are a part of your past so that you may create a new future for them as well. Still, sometimes you have to say good-bye. There have been times when I have held on to my past for too long and treated it as if it were my future.”
I believed for a long time I would always be what I came from. I was bound to always live paycheck to paycheck if I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t end up in jail or on drugs. Paycheck to paycheck was the brightest I could ever see my future. My past was all I could think of my future. Again, this was something I had come to realize was false on my own. Reading this book solidified my newfound beliefs that I didn’t have to be ashamed of making a better life for myself. I don’t know how big my future will get or how bright it is but I’m ready for it.
“If our best futures can be known only in the mind of God, then how critical is it that we hear his voice and heed his call.”
It’s probably a little too personal for my first post. But it makes the most sense with the books that will follow. Not everything I’m reading will run this deep. I have a lot planned for this blog this year. It was important to me to start here because this book is why there is a blog. I am sharing my absolute passion.
If you have read The Last Arrow, please let me know what your favorite parts were. Share your story if you want. Email or comments, doesn’t matter.
If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. I needed someone to hold this mirror up to me for a time.