God gives us all certain abilities, certain desires, certain dreams, but all too often we play it safe, refuse to take risks, and miss out on some of the exciting things that God has in store for us if we are only willing to take a few risks along the way. At some point most of us ask ourselves what we would do different if we had it to do over. Mark Batterson and Richard Foth encourage us to ask that question while there is still time to do something about some of the things we wish we had done differently. A Trip around the Sun: Turning Your Everyday Life into the Adventure of a Lifetime (Baker Books, 2015) is their response to a challenge to choose adventure.
Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor of National Community Church, is one of my favorite authors. Dick Foth is his mentor, and in this book they tell their adventure stories. One of the things that Batterson has mentioned in other books is that Christ followers need to quit living in a way that suggests that the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. It’s obvious that neither of these men is in any danger of that.
A trip around the sun sounds like it might be dangerous, or something that only happens in science fiction movies, but the truth is that each of us does it on a regular basis/ In fact you count the times you've made the journey as you count the candles on your birthday cake. Each trip is a year of your life. Some of us live dangerously, some play it safe, and some look back and wish that they could do it all over again.
Everybody counts their trips around the sun, some count more than others, but what’s important is not the number of trips, but what is done with them; and Batterson and Foth take turns sharing their experiences, lessons and adventures during their respective trips around the sun.
One thing that hit home for me was that Christians are just as guilty of living safely as are others. Christians, that group of people that have signed up to follow Jesus. One chapter, “The Preposition That Will Change Your Life” makes it clear. In Mark 3, we read that Jesus prayed and then chose the men that he wanted to be with Him. We not just called to follow Jesus, we’re called to be with Him, to with all that involves. It’s not just on Sunday morning, it’s not just when we’re doing Christian things, it’s at work, at school, at play, with family and friends, co-workers and class-mates, and yes with fellow church goers. Being with Jesus isn't always easy, but at the same time, it’s not one of the things that we’re going to one day look back at and regret.
This is an easy book to read, but the message is much harder to digest. It calls us to step up our game, to dare to live the life that God has in store for us, not just the one that we can slide by with, and then live to regret.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for the review. I was not required to write a positive review.