Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lost Mission by Athol Dickson

If you've read my blog long, you know I love Athol Dickson's writing. He writes with a unique richness and depth. His books are thought provoking and enlightening.
Lost Mission is no different.
In a story that spans hundreds of years, crosses cultural, economic, and political barriers, he tells us about missions.
A mission in the making.
A woman on a mission.
Men with a mission.
And missions lost.

There are many layers to this novel and my review is only going to address one--theme. Theme is an interesting thing in that it can be different for different people. It can be different for the author than for the reader. So this is my subjective opinion about the theme of Lost Mission.

To be honest, when I finished this book I felt discouraged, disappointed, and confused.
People who are committed to serving God, serving others, loving others so often get it wrong. So often we get a calling from God and mess it up.
I'll admit, part of the problem is that this book poked me hard in my "fear of failure" nerve. That part of me that thinks it's all up to me to get everything right. My perfectionism. My idealism. And it scared me.

It's been weeks since I finished reading and I've spent a lot of time thinking about what this book meant, about what it was saying to me.

I came to the conclusion that this book has the same theme that God has been pouring into me for months.
"What are you looking at?"
See, we can think we're doing the right thing, it can look like we're doing the right thing, but if we're looking at the wrong things, we're failing.

We should always be "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." Heb. 12:1
Notice the word perfecter. We can't get it right. Ever. But He can. Always.

This book will make you think. It will make you re-think. I've begun forming some new opinions about things since reading it. It's one I will keep and read again.

I recommend you get a copy and tell me what you think. Or re-think.


  1. It's next in my to-be-read pile. I'm interested to see if I disagree with the themes or not.

  2. Okay, I just finished it.

    **For the record: it's a brilliant novel and I highly recommend it.

    As far the takeaway, I'm a little torn. On the one hand, I agree with all the concepts of mis-interpreting and perversing the will of God into something with unintended consequences. The sin of leaning on our own understanding. But on the other hand, there was no alternative framework offered.

    I was getting a little worried toward the end. Because although I was loving it, I was afraid an ending in the vein of No Country for Old Men was about to play out. I really hate those kind of endings no matter how much "truth" might be presented. Fortunately, that wasn't the case here.

  3. I think there were two examples of people who succeeded in their missions. People who kept their eyes on the Lord better than the rest.
    What happened with them, though, was that their missions ended up being different from what they perceived them to be. So even in those cases, there had to be a letting go of "what I think I'm supposed to be doing" and just follow.
    That's what I think, anyway.

    I didn't see No Country for Old Men, but I can guess as to what kind of ending that may be.

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