Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life's Storms by Tim Tebow
SHAKEN is not about Tim Tebow. It’s not about what a great man the author is, how great an athlete he is, or what wonderful things he has done. It’s not even a story of what an inspiration the author is to us (although he is.)
That's because SHAKEN is not about one man, or the deeds of one man. Rather, it’s all about living your life for what TRULY matters—about actions that matter for eternity. It's about serving and loving others. SHAKEN is an exhortation to the reader to live life for something much bigger than yourself. It’s about honoring our Heavenly Father—no matter how we are “shaken” throughout life.
This short book starts off with inspirational stories related to the author's football career. And some, well, not so inspirational stories, such as when the author is cut from the NFL team. The coach tells Tim that he's just "not the right fit" for the team. Tim leaves the room devastated.
But not all the stories involve football. For example, Tim describes many other "team" outings, such as trips to prison death-row, to hospital beds of sick children, and other Christian outreach events. The theme of each trip is always the same--forget about getting personal accolades. Instead, consider how you can serve others, and honor your Father.
The author explains that spending time serving others sometimes has unexpected benefits. One day, Tim visited a deathly ill boy. In his bedroom, the boy had a large number of memorabilia with Tim's "signature" on each one. Tim sees that the items are fake, and gives the boy "some bad news and some good news.” The items are all forgeries, he explains, but he will make it right by penning the real signature on each one of these items. Naturally, the boy is delighted. Besides that, however, Tim learned a lesson. Before the meeting, Tim had not particularly wanted to make the visit--he did it in spite of his feelings: “Spending time with this precious boy and his parents changed my perspective. It's interesting what happens when you do something in spite of your feelings. Many times, you walk away being blessed by the one you think you're going to bless.”
If you read nothing else in this book, there is one paragraph you MUST NOT MISS! About 4 pages from the end of this book, in a section called “The Difference One Choice Can Make,” read the story about what happened with the young lady and her baby. I bet that you agree that this one story alone makes this book worth reading.
The author mentions one very practical suggestion to the reader. Tim suggests each person should develop something he calls the "Circle of Trust." Find wise friends who can consul you in tough times: "Two or three people that you can trust, count on to pray for you, wrestle with you on big decisions, and offer wise advice." I thought the author's advice was right on. Developing a tight circle of close advisors is a great idea.
So all-in-all, I found SHAKEN to be an inspiring, uplifting read. Probably there's nothing particularly new or outlandish in this book; nevertheless, I still found this book to be an encouragement. It's helpful to see the difficulties this one man went through, and how it made him a stronger believer. I think this one quote nicely sums up this book:
“Society doesn't get to define what's important in my life. Although I may not get a pat on the back or an attaboy from others, I'd rather have my heavenly father be proud of me.”