A Review: "Move Toward the Mess" by John Hambrick

by Sandra Foreman February 20, 2017

“[G]od sometimes directs us through our desires…What are you noticeably excited about? You should pay attention to that. It may be God nudging you in that direction.” – John Hambrick, Move Toward the Mess

I recently had the opportunity to read Move Toward the Mess by John Hambrick. The premise of this book is about fading the walls that separate one’s “Christian life” at church versus the rest of a person’s life. This book encourages its readers to assess their unique skills and desires to determine how they could make an impact in the community. I enjoyed reading the examples about how others became involved with various causes. 

In our youth, I believe it’s much easier to volunteer our time to serve others. Parents, schools, churches, and extracurricular activities offer many opportunities for youth to engage in the community.  As we age and the responsibilities of family and work take priority in our lives, it can become more difficult to determine how to personally make a difference in this world.  Helping others is certainly what most of us want to do. Yet, there are so many needs that compete for our attention. How do we decide which causes to support?  What is the time commitment? Is the location convenient? There are many questions and Moving Toward the Mess helps the reader sort through these issues. It helps to move the reader toward identifying one’s own unique connection to his involvement in this world.

As I read this book, I considered what the author termed as “nudges” for how I choose to get involved in the community. Examples of nudges include assessing your skill set; your desires; issues that cause inner turmoil because they are heartbreaking and possibly disturbing; as well as thinking about matters that excite you. These are great tips to determine what moves your soul to edge you closer to how you choose to serve others.  

At different times in my life, I’ve prayed about all of these nudges to lead me to the purpose I felt was calling me at the time.  For example, because of my skill set as an attorney and my desire to help veterans, those nudges led me to a wonderful organization that mentored me to represent veterans in obtaining their service connected benefits. It was actually one of the most satisfying opportunities I’ve ever experienced. I continued serving in that capacity for ten years.  When I became a parent, my life circumstances changed, so I wasn’t as readily available outside of work. However, even in my day job, there were many opportunities to serve my clients and the community. Move Toward the Mess discusses how serving others will appear in different ways because we have different gifts and nudges. What is essential is that we identify these nudges and pray about our direction for how God wants us to serve others in this world.

At this moment in my life, I’m experiencing new nudges of how I can make a difference in this world. With The Spa in Me, LLC, my hope is to help others lead a life of wellness through compassion for themselves and others. As an attorney, my desire is to work with the immigrant population to ultimately live in a state of peace. As we grow older, we become wiser and our perspectives of how we can move toward the mess will change.  In all the many ways that we can serve others, it’s important to recognize that we are helping to improve mankind, which is certainly a path that I hope to follow.  If you are in search of guidance on how you can engage on this path, please read Move Toward the Mess by John Hambrick for tips and examples.

Sandra Foreman
Sandra Foreman


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