When Life’s Not Working, 7 simple choices for a better tomorrow by Bob Merritt book cover.

When Life’s Not Working

7 simple choices for a better tomorrow

Bob Merritt

I love the cover of this new book, When Life’s Not Working: it shows a man in a rowboat trying to use his paddles to move his boat over a dry, cracked, sun-baked earth--not a drop of water in sight. It illustrates the futility of trying to get good results with bad choices.

The author, Bob Merritt, uses sports and outdoor activities to give examples of many of the principles he talks about in the book. He also uses his own example with surprising candor about his own weaknesses and how he struggled to overcome them to succeed in his ministry and his family life.

Bill Hybels recommends the book with this statement: “The seven simple choices that Pastor Bob Merritt talks about in When Life’s Not Working won’t make life less difficult, but they may just lead to accomplishment, freedom, and ease. Not easy, but ease in navigating through life’s daily challenges.”

This book is divided into three parts: Foundation for a Great Tomorrow; Strategies for Intentional Living in which he describes the seven choices; and Breakthroughs for the Broken which is assurance that God does redeem those who turn to him.

Part 2 is divided into seven chapters describing and illustrating those seven choices: Give it One More Day: Don’t Quit; Manage your Loads: Do a Few Things Well; Give Yourself Time: Be Prepared; Find Your Rhythm: Increase Your Consistency; Have Barbed-Wire Discipline: Use Small Tugs; Try Things You Can’t Do: Stretch Yourself; and Avoid the Fatal Fall: Practice Self-control.

Except maybe on your death bed, I don’t believe it is ever too late to begin making better choices and changing bad habits. At least I hope so (I’m 68 this month.) But I do believe this would be an excellent book for young adults, the younger the better, to give them a head start in succeeding in life. Some choices have long term consequences that can be difficult or impossible to change. “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them’…(Ecclesiastes 12:1.)” It would also be an excellent book for teachers and pastors to use in guiding teenagers and young adults in making better choices.


Book Review
By Scarlett Stough
Title: When Life’s Not Working, 7 simple choices for a better tomorrow.
Author: Bob Merritt, copyright 2011.
Publisher: BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan
ISBN: 978-0-8010-1378-2