At different times in teaching, I have handed out note cards and have asked students to write their own epitaph, to put on paper what they would want said about them at the end of their lives. Not necessarily the most cheerful way to kick off a lesson, but in essence, that is how Craig Groeschel comes out of the gate in his book, Chazown. In fact the first sentence of his book says this, “Most people take a long time to die.”
His purpose is not to be morbid, but to challenge the reader to consider the end of his or her life and thus provide motivation to make the decisions now that will impact how one’s life will be remembered.
Chazown is the Hebrew word for vision. In his book Groeschel offers a challenge to live by our God-given Chazown and he also provides readers with tools to discover and live out that vision.
Throughout this writing he encourages a posture of asking God and listening to what He has to say about what His vision for our lives is. While it is different for each person, Groeschel offers a process each individual can go through to help pinpoint God’s vision for his or her life.
He uses three circles; one circle representing your core values, another representing your spiritual gifts and a third which representing past experiences. Where those three circles converge is where a person can identify his or her Chazown. It is a good visual to help people identify the vision God has for each one of us.
The rest of the book lays out what he calls the “Five Spokes of Chazown.” Those are the chazowns (or “little c’s”) that apply to all Christ followers. As we are obedient to God in the areas of our relationship with God, our relationship with people, our finances, our health & fitness and our work, we are able to live out our individual Chazown (“big C”).
One phrase that Groeschel uses throughout the book in various ways is this: Everyone ends up somewhere, but few people end up somewhere on purpose.” He applies that phrase to each of the Five Spokes and at other times throughout the book. He continually underlines that we don’t achieve much accidentally; it is only as we focus on key principles and practices that we can achieve God’s purpose for our lives.
The book provides opportunities to stop and answer questions, to journal and consider the three circles and the five spokes. It lends itself to both personal reflection and group discussion. It is broken down into short sections that provides the reader opportunity to think about one particular area before moving to another.
While set up in an easy to read fashion, Groeschel provides plenty of principles and practices to challenge readers to apply what he is trying to communicate. Chazown can help you identify what God’s vision is for you or help you celebrate and elevate the God-given vision you are already living out.
“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.” Check out an excerpt of Chazown