Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Life Without Limits

"Life Without Limits" tells the story of Nick Vujicic - a young man who was born without arms or legs but has gone on to be a motivational speaker (and surfer!). I found his story to be very inspiring but the book itself to be a little repetitive. It read more like a great speech than a great book, and I think if I heard the message delivered in person it would improve tremendously. So at the risk of sounding mean by giving a below average review to a guy with no arms and legs, I'm going to say that I wouldn't recommend the book but I would recommend going to hear Nick Vujicic in person (I have not heard him in person, but I have heard several who have, and they were beyond impressed).

I'm afraid I couldn't help comparing this book to another I recently read called "Breath." It was written by a woman, Martha Mason, who spent over sixty years in an iron lung. The similarities were striking. Both met their difficulties with a great attitude and a profound faith. The difference was that Nick spent time learning to skateboard and surf, and Ms. Mason's passion was reading. The difference in passions and maturity is evident in the writing. "Breath" has a superb literary quality. Of course, her life was a lot longer and she had a lot more material to include in a memoir. And to be fair, Nick's book is not described as a biography or memoir - it's simply a motivational book. Perhaps I'm just more a fan of biography.

At any rate, both of these books gave me lots to appreciate about the little things in life like being able to use my arms and legs and breath without a machine.

Gray Matter by David Levy, MD

I recently finished this fascinating book about a brain surgeon that brought prayer into his practice. I found many things about this book intriguing - first of all, that a guy who was originally a car mechanic changed gears (sorry for the pun) to attend medical school and become one of the best surgeons in his field. I also found his own journey of faith followed an equally unique path.

David Levy was very real and open about his fears when he first felt led to pray with patients. He didn't know how they would respond or what would be the reactions of colleagues. What about if he prayed and there was a bad outcome? These were all very real concerns, but David overcame them with radical obedience.

It was truly inspiring to see both the change that it brought about in him as well as his patients. And it humbled me to pray more in my daily occupation of being a Mom and teacher to my children. If a highly-trained brain surgeon feels the need to continuously ask God for help, should I do any less?