Book Review: ‘Maximize the Moment’

Let’s face it, none of us thinks life is too short when young and aeons of time seem to be at our disposal stretching way off into the future. The exception would be those with a life-limiting prognosis who know full well their days are numbered.

We all get into ruts, but the question is how do we get out of them? Author and Pastor, T.D. Jakes, provides the motivation by reminding us that the clock is ticking. Do we really want to be repeating the same unhelpful, negative patterns from our twenties into our forties and beyond?

The author equates the elusive “there” to soul satisfaction. Another word you could use is fulfilment. It goes beyond external gratification so you will not get it from travelling the world, amassing wealth nor entering a relationship with a significant other. You will have an inner knowing that you’re “there” when you get there. There relates to all areas of your life because we are complex beings with a myriad of needs. Also, it’s a question of degrees.

Sadly, some lose hope of ever getting “there”. They fail to realise that life is a journey, it is marked by seasonal fluctuations, and that each new day is a chance to begin again. The first step in reaching “there’ is gaining your bearings and determining where you are – your “here”. For so many there “here’ becomes a source of despair when it could be cause for hope. They struggle to see how they will get from “here” to “there”. But this ache of the soul is simply an indicator that you’re not “there’ yet. It’s an opportunity to conduct a life review and re-appraise your goals and strategies. This ‘psychache’ is a wake up call to re-direct not end your life.

This book culminates with maximum impact (no pun intended) in part three which is entitled ‘Maximise the moment’. Here the reader is equated to a weary traveller on a journey to a place called ‘There’. The writer acknowledges how the soul can ache as it yearns to reach this special place where the soul can sing, and which is different for each individual. In a world where comparison is the order of the day, we can get side-tracked into pursuing other people’s dreams and visions. But this will only lead to disillusionment resulting from a soul-destroying sense of wandering aimlessly and getting nowhere. Feeling stuck, many resort to alcohol drugs or suicide.

Many live with no game plan in mind, but we benefit from taking time to tune into our hearts, and trying to hear what God is telling us regarding our life’s purpose. There may be many missteps and diversions along the way, but with faith and hope in our hearts, we can stay the course.

Written from a Christian perspective, this book often cites the Bible. But its author’s homegrown wisdom emanating from tough and traumatic experiences is what ultimately gives it credence.