The Road We Must Travel
Francis Chan, Eugene Paterson, Bill Hybels and more
I read a lot of books and I have read a number of books by authors in this collection going back many years. Few books really captivate me from the beginning these days. This book did, from starting to read the introduction I could hardly out the book down. The book beings with this example:
"It's all about the blue highlight.
The paper roadmaps earlier generations used to fold, crease, scribble on, repair with Scotch tape, and spread out on kitchen tables, shady picnic benches, and the front seats of station wagons and minivans have mostly faded from view.
It's all digital now.
The new maps are bright, intuitive, up-to-date, high-definition depictions glowing on the screens of smart phones, tablets, laptops, and sleek GPS units. These are maps that don't tear along the folds, wedge themselves between car seats, or soak up spilled coffee. You don't have to turn the glove compartment inside out to find them, and it doesn't take an engineering degree to refold them. You simply type in where you are, where you want to go and . . . voilà. There it is. The sweet certainty of what you wanted to know.
The blue highlight.
That calming, comforting, unmistakable sapphire line overlaying your course, illuminating your way, boldly directing you from Point A to Point B by the most efficient route.
Now . . . if only we had a blue highlight in life.
Wouldn't that be something? Key in where you are right now, enter "Heaven" as your final destination, and push the button. And there before your appreciative eyes is the course for the rest of your life-from now until you step across the threshold of glory.
But it doesn't work that way, does it? It's good and it's comforting to have a Point A and a Point B in our lives, but where is the line marking our route? What's around the bend? Where are the intersections?
What's the mileage? Will it be an eight-lane freeway or a winding, backcountry road with a few bridges washed out along the way?
How long will it take? Where are the exits, vistas, scenic byways, and rest stops?
We can ask all the specifics we like, but it really won't help. No one knows the precise route each of us will take to the other side.
There may be a clear destination-and thank God for that-but there is no blue highlight marking the course from here to there.
Sometimes that's okay, and sometimes it is not. We might even identify with Thomas who, in the grip of sorrow and fear, blurted out, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"1
Jesus, of course, told his anxious friend, "I am the way."
And he is! But he doesn't show any of us a highlighted route.
That remains a day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment proposition.
As Solomon noted: "The mind of man plans his way, but the
Lord directs his steps."2
We can, however, do this much: We can make sure we are prepared for the journey, no matter what the route might be. This book is all about that. It's not a road atlas, it's more like a travelogue, with strong ideas and helps for navigating life. No, it's not exactly like Rick Steves Does Europe, but here are twelve wise, seasoned, and companionable travelers who offer thoughtful, biblical counsel for our problems, solutions to common roadblocks, and welcome encouragement for the highway that lies ahead.
Yes, like it or not, we're all on the same road trip.
But not all of us travel with peace and perspective.
With a little help from these friends, maybe we can."
I was part way through reading this and stopped and read it out loud to my wife. We both thought of people who would love it. And the book goes on from there and just keeps getting better. This book was an amazing read. It is a wonderful collection of articles to help you on the journey of life. The contributors are:
And the chapters are:
Part I: Roadworthy
1. The Need for Honest Self-Assessment - Gordon MacDonald
2. Look at Yourself First - Bill Hybels
3. Avoiding Cultural Contamination - Mark Buchanan
4. The Fall - Nathan Conrad
Part II: Necessary Repairs
5. Tuning Your Engine - Francis Chan
6. Sharpen Your Sixth Sense - Bill Hybels
7. Reading the Bible Spiritually - Eugene Peterson
8. Tame the Restless Evil - Steve May
Part III: Washouts and Detours
9. Trouble Happens - Tullian Tchividjian
10. The Art of Managing Conflict - Gordon MacDonald
11. Bad Situations Are Great Opportunities - Mark Buchanan
Part IV: Traveling Light
12. A Steady Rhythm - Ruth Haley Barton
13. The Crucial Need for Regular Rest - Gordon MacDonald
14. Striving for Simplicity - Mark Buchanan
Part V: Peripheral Vision
15. Mentoring Others to Spiritual Maturity - Gordon MacDonald
16. Yield the Right-of-Way - Skye Jethani
17. The First Rule of the Road: Love - Mark Labberton
18. See with the Eyes of a Doctor - Donald Sunukjian
I think my favourite chapters was Mark Buchanan's - Avoid Cultural Contamination. This was an awesome read and I highly recommend it!