Published by IVP on February 21, 2023
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
Buy on Amazon
As we make our way through life, we find ourselves in times of transition where we need to reassess who we are and what we do.
Living well doesn't happen automatically for followers of Christ―it happens when we have planned ahead by reviewing and recalibrating our lives on a regular basis, and when we transition from one stage of life to the next. Times of transition, especially in midlife or later life, are ideal moments for recalibrating our priorities and habits.
Ken Boa and Jenny Abel give us the perspective and practical tools needed to evaluate our God-given gifts, talents, skills, wisdom, knowledge, resources, and opportunities so we can use them to the full extent God desires. It involves an intentional recalibration and envisioning of one's life based on God's universal and unique purposes for each person as we move from the demands of our careers into a deeper sense of calling. This eternal perspective allows us to live meaningfully now and into the future so that the best is yet to come.
Transitions. Whether you’re four or forty, transitions can be difficult. Planned on unplanned, transitions often take us from someplace stable into something unknown. Hopefully they’re good and needed, but that doesn’t make the movement any more difficult. I’ve had a number of transitions in my life. University. Marriage. Moving states. Having kids. Moving countries. I’m someone who is pretty naturally content in the status quo and yet transitions have been a part of my life. In Recalibrate Your Life, Kenneth Boa and Jenny Abel teach readers how to approach life’s transitions with purpose and hope.
Recalibrate Your Life begins by quoting JRR Tolkien and that’s admittedly a great way of getting my attention. Boa and Abel begin by discussing the inevitability of transitions and the importance of taking time to recalibrate—to consciously process where we have been, where we are now, and where we are headed—in light of those changes. The duo breaks down their advice into three sections.
The first is perspective. What gives meaning to life? The authors start by talking about leaving a legacy, a topic that usually comes at the end of books like these. Having Recalibrate Your Life begin with legacy is itself a recalibration of thought. Legacy cannot be left until the end, but it is what you have when you get there. Understanding that every step of the process builds legacy brings gravitas and importance to life’s transitions. They also talk about retirement, advocating a need for purposeful work throughout one’s life. I wish they had addressed better the transition that some will have regarding the nature of their work as they get older. Some professions allow for old age; others are much harsher on it. Nonetheless, this section offers a great big-picture perspective that is especially helpful for those just starting their professional lives.
The second section is purpose. What gives direction to life? This section is a bit thin, being comprised of only two chapters—understanding God’s purpose and discovering your unique purpose. These chapters were fine, but don’t really break much new ground. This section seems there to be a transition (ha!) to the third and final section on stewardship. The third section is about putting it all into practice. How do I wisely invest my life? Recalibrate Your Life moves from the philosophical and the big-picture to the practical and specific. These chapters are short, but the activity prompts provided really help the reader dig in and move their advice from the theoretical to the practical.
Throughout Recalibrate Your Life, Boa and Abel develop 18 different tools for readers to use to implement their teaching. Honestly, this is the strength of the book. Some of these tools are placed in the book directly, others are more involved and can be found at the book’s website recalibrateyourlife.org. This book was meant to be paired with the online experience and you’re really missing out if you do not utilize this aspect of the teaching.
Whether you’re 20 or 60—just beginning or winding down—Recalibrate Your Life offers simple wisdom and practical tools for navigating life’s changes. By its nature, the book is generic enough to cover transitions that everyone will go through, with a focus on career in particular. It won’t speak to every situation, but speaks generally enough to all situations to provide a general starting place for anyone in need of a guide as they move through life’s transitions.