The idea that we are each made for a purpose is not new, nor are books offering to help us find that purpose. But Max Lucado's take on the common question what do I do with my life? is uniquely refreshing and thought-provoking. A San Antonio pastor and best-selling Christian author, Lucado believes that we each have specific gifts and that the truest worship of our creator comes only when we pursue those gifts. To that end, Lucado's book is more than just a way to find a career, but rather a way to build a life.

Using life stories and everyday parables, Lucado offers encouragement and hope, as well as practical, concrete ways for readers to examine their talents and passions to discover the direction God intends for their lives. The latter half of the book includes exercisesto help readers to discover their sweet spot, that unique melding of talent, passion and purpose that makes a life unique.

Lucado avoids familiar tools such as personality measurements and lists of spiritual gifts. Instead, he concentrates on finding the little clues and sometimes the big, overlooked ones each person has from birth. What has always drawn you? What do you lose track of time doing? These and other questions focusing on who you are, not on who others say you should be are the key aspects of the book. Lucado combines this approach with scriptural references and illustrations, examining how Biblical characters from Moses to Jesus revealed clues and details throughout their lives that pointed to their own sweet spots. Along the way, Lucado also offers gentle, welcome advice, from helping children follow their own bent (and not a parent's will), to remembering to rest and recharge to keep your sweet spot hitting true.

As we begin the new year, resolutions to change your life are common. Cure for the Common Life can help you make your own resolution to find a new direction an uncommon success. Howard Shirley is a writer in Franklin, Tennessee.

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