Book Gems #6 is 64 Lessons for a Life Without Limits by T.J. Jakes, pastor of The Potter's House church. When I was a practicing Pentecostal minister, I LOVED listening to T.J. Jakes (and this is when he first went on-air). Although I no longer follow that spiritual path, it's obvious to me that Bishop Jakes continues to offer empowering, relevant and sensible advice to both believers and non-believers. Although this book references God and scripture, it's not heavy-handed nor evangelistic, but rather illustrative and illuminating.
This particular passage is from Lesson #11: Get Your Life Off Flatline:
Once we meet the typical milestones of life--graduate from school, get married, maybe have a few children, or reach a certain level of success in our chosen fields--we often start to think that's it for life, our best years are behind us. On the surface our life appears fulfilling. It may not be terribly exciting but we know what to expect; it's comfortable in a predictable kind of way. But when many people reach this place, something still feels not quite right.
They wonder, What happened to some of those unfulfilled dreams? We read a great book and recall that we once wanted to write a novel. Or we hear a beautiful aria and remember how we once loved to sing. Dreams get buried but they never really die. That little flutter you feel when you hear that beautiful song as you drive down the freeway on your way home from work is that dream gasping for air...
Many people live lives of quiet desperation stuck in the mud of mediocrity. Mediocrity is like a terrorist threat against our daily lives. It steals moments from our day, sabotages opportunities for advancement and personal growth, and takes away our desire for meaning. It transforms our lives into weapons of mess and destruction. The word mediocre means accepting the second-rate, the average (or below-average), that which is middling, ordinary, commonplace, and run-of-the-mill. Rather than strive to resurrect those buried dreams, mediocrity wants you to resign yourself to the middle of the road."