Will you die knowing your life counted? Review of The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life by Erwin Raphael McManus

Johnny Beaver

4.5 Stars

October 26, 2017

When I die I want to leave a hole in this world.  I want to be missed.  I want people to come to my funeral because in some way I touched their life.  I want to know that my life counted.  That is why The Last Arrow:  Save Nothing for the Next Life, written by Erwin Rachael McManus, resonated with me.  This book is a combination of personal stories experienced by the author with sound teaching.  It is about making your life count and how that is accomplished.

McManus is the pastor of Mosaic, the community of faith in Los Angeles, and is probably best known for his book The Barbarian Way.  His books have sold over a million copies worldwide and he is a nationally sought after speaker.  I heard him speak many years ago at a Promise Keepers meeting for men.

            The premise of this book comes from the Old Testament story in 2 Kings 13 where King Jehoash, the King of Israel, goes before the dying prophet Elisha after his kingdom has been threatened by Amaziah, King of Judah.  You will need to read the Scripture to get the whole story, but when Jehoash is told to take the arrows in his quiver and strike the ground, he only strikes the ground three times.  This angers the prophet who desired for the king to strike the ground five to six times because by striking it only three times only partial victory was assured.  The prophet felt as if the king left something on the table.  He felt the king settled for less.

            McManus feels that this translates to us as Christians in that we too leave things unfinished and never rise to our full potential.  He states that we should die with our quivers empty because we have given our all in this life.

            Ironically McManus goes back into the life of the prophet Elisha himself to prove what a life of striking the last arrow looks like.  Perhaps that is why Elisha is so angry at the king for only striking his arrows three times.  The books takes you from the calling of the prophet Elisha, through his life, to his death, and to after he has died.  It catalogs what made the prophet Elisha so effective that even after his death, he made a difference.

            Throughout his teaching McManus introduces us to some extraordinary people that are scattered all over the world.  He weaves their lives with the example of the prophet to teach us how we can live such a life.  The author also tells personal stories of his own adventures including recently being diagnosed with cancer himself.

            The book is 224 pages but easily read.  It has a great flow to it and the stories keep you reading wanting more.  I found myself stopping only to take time to tweet out a quote taken from the book.  There are plenty of tweetable quotes.

            My overall impression of the book is that this is a powerful book that could be a game changer in the life of a reader.  It is challenging.  Probably my favorite two chapters were chapter 7 entitled “Stand Your Ground” and chapter 8 entitled “Find Your People.”  I will go back to those chapters time and again.   The price of the book is $22.99 which seems a little high but that is why we have book discounter sites for right?  I had just a few moments in the book where my personal theology cringed just a bit but overall it was sound.   If you want to do some heart work in your own life, then pick up this book today.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.