As my twenty-fourth trip around the sun comes to a close in a few short days, I reflect back on the major events that have happened. Throughout my past year, I got engaged, got married, honeymooned in Ireland, moved, had a combined total of eight job changes in our household, saw my small group girls of the past three years graduate middle school and move into high school, went on a surprise trip to celebrate the anniversary of when my husband and I started dating, finished the rough draft of my first book, had my first anxiety attack, started a blog, became an aunt, and lived the mundane in-and-outs of a 9-5 job every day. This past trip around the sun has been one of the best I’ve had so far, and I thank God for all those experiences and the lessons learned from them.
Looking back on my previous trip, it makes me both curious and hopeful for my upcoming trip around the sun. What will this next one hold? Will I finally finish my book? Will I move again? Will I love my new job? Will my husband get a different job? How will we celebrate our first anniversary of marriage? What will my involvement with my church look like?
While I don’t have answers to all those questions, I do know this. I want this next trip to be better than the last. That is my hope for each trip the Lord blesses me with. I want to build upon the previous year’s experiences, and have even better ones in the year that follows. I want this next trip around the sun to be adventure filled. I want it to be full to the brim with laughter, new experiences, love, and joy. In one year from now, I want to reflect back on my twenty-fifth trip around the sun and be able to say, “That was the best one yet!”
These thoughts have been provoked by my recent reading of the book A Trip around the Sun by Mark Batterson and Richard Foth. These two men share their experiences and life lessons from their trips around the sun. On every page of this book, I was both intrigued and encouraged by their lives. They both abandoned all to follow the call Jesus put on their lives, and through that found friendship in each other when their paths crossed. They have totally different backgrounds and upbringings, yet both of their stories are relatable. The goal in writing their book together was to bring their readers to the realization that Jesus put us on this earth for a full life, for adventure, and for following His call. They both believe whole-heartedly in the thought that collecting memories and experiences is far more important than collecting things, and they express that through their personal life stories that they share.
While reading about their trips, it is impossible not to ponder your own trips. Have you achieved everything you wanted? Are you still searching for a meaningful trip? Are you answering Jesus’ call on your life? At the end of your trips around the sun, will people say, “I think he drove a nice car and had a huge house,” or will they say, “He lived a life full of travel, generosity, and contentment”? It’s never too late to start your best trip around the sun.
“Experiences are the currency of a life well lived” (37).