Book Review: A Trip Around the Sun

Mark Batterson and Richard Foth teamed up to produce A Trip Around the Sun: Turning Your Everyday Life into the Adventure of a Lifetime.  The book has some strong points, some not-so-strong points, and some nice gems worth quoting.  I will tackle the review in that order.

TripAroundtheSunBattersonA Trip Around the Sun has the strength of potentially being an inspiring book.  The collective stories of life experiences told throughout the book consistently drove home the point: “Don’t Accumulate Possessions. Accumulate Experiences” (p 37). When we realize that we only have so many trips around the sun and that we spend so much of the time acquiring possessions or being filled with the anxieties of life, the result can be rather depressing.  The authors do a good job helping the reader refocus and consider how to redeem the time for their remaining trips around the sun.

The book struggled in a two big areas.  First, most of the adventures described in the book are those that middle to upper-middle class people (or those with the right social connections) could actually achieve; resulting in the potential of making the adventures of life too far out of reach, financially irresponsible for people to attempt, and not very “everyday life”.  Second, I found that the authors seemed to pointing at each other as examples more than they pointed the reader to Jesus and the Bible.

In the midst of the critique, I found these quotable gems worth repeating:

  • “Don’t Accumulate Possessions. Accumulate Experiences” (p 37)
  • “The idea of coming alongside and working with and being with people as opposed to speaking to or at them changed everything” (pp 50-51)
  • “We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a year or two, but we underestimate what God can accomplish in a decade or two.  The key? Keep doing the right thing day in and day out, week in and week out, year in and year out.  Temporary setbacks are just that – temporary. Zoom out. Look at the big picture. If your dream is from God, it’ll probably take longer and be harder than anything you imagine. But that simply means it’s a God-sized goal” (p 72)
  • “Man is not valuable because he loves God. Man is valuable because God loves him” (p 92)
  • “The cross says you are worth dying for. The resurrection gives you something worth living for. It’s time to start living your life like the highly valued, deeply loved child of God that you are” (p 96)
  • “Most people are bored with their faith because they are selfish. They think they are following Jesus, but the reality is that they have invited Jesus to follow them” (p 120)
  • “Part of discovering the adventure God has designed for you is learning how to frame it or reframe it” (p 127)
  • “If your influence ends with you, it wasn’t worth your time and effort. Your life is a dead end…That’s what spiritual fathering and mothering is all about – leaving a legacy of wisdom that is inherited by the next generation (p 154)

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers http://www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.

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