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Undoubtedly many of you have heard of Randy Pausch.  He became famous when his “Last Lecture” was aired on Oprah.  This book was written as a follow-up.

An educated man, Randy has accomplished much in his life.  He dedicates the book to his parents, who “allowed (him) to dream”.  Being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (the most deadly of all cancers), he reflects on life lessons and the importance of his own life.  Inspiring others through his position at a top university, Pausch tells others to acheive their dreams, his book detailing how he did that and how you can, too.  His last lecture can be watched here.

This book touched me, but perhaps not in the way it has done to the 24k people who’ve loved his video.  Near the end of the book, my eyes teared up thinking about the pain and loss that Randy’s family will suffer as a result of this.  Not only that, but Randy himself was forced to take into account his whole life and reflect back upon it, knowing that his kids would grow up without a father.  Death hurts.

I thought it was curious that Randy did not include any spiritual insights in his book.  This caused me to wonder.  Here is a man with much-happiness, family, fulfilled dreams.  Now, they are being taken from him.  Yet, he is still satisfied with his life.  He celebrates it, in fact.  Obviously this man doesn’t need God.  He’s got it taken care of.  My question is this: Do I need God?  Does he exist?  Does it matter at all that there might be a God bigger than we can fathom and he is intricately involved in our lives?  Randy seems to have all the answers: work hard, send thank-you notes, never give up, believe in others, do the jobs you don’t really want to, be a team player…all good things, of course.  But where is his need for God?  Hasn’t he just successfully taken Him out of the picture?

For many, that won’t matter.  They either don’t believe in God or don’t want to acknowledge that he exists.  Or, perhaps God is irrelevant to this topic.  But is He?  If He is who He says He is, than I should give more careful thought to the actions of my life.  I’m not so ready to accept Pausch’s encouragement.

Yes, this book is inspiring when you first read it, as Randy’s lecture is inspiring when you first hear it.  I’m tempted to think however, that it just might be a little bottle of poison wrapped up in a pretty package.

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