Years ago, I took a six-week backpacking trip through Europe. It was glorious—so worth the blisters and weariness and surprises.

We camped a lot since we went on the cheap, so my backpack contained everything I needed. It was heavy, but a good fit. It balanced me. I got to visit some of the world’s most amazing places with my trusty backpack.

But the problem with backpacking is that you don’t have much room for souvenirs. Instead, you make memories. You take pics. You collect little symbols like a postcard or a pebble or a nice tea.

Anyway, years later, I embarked on another journey. It has also been glorious, because my life has been full of blisters and weariness and surprises. I needed fresh eyes to see God. I needed to get rid of baggage. I needed a new understanding of what to carry in my life’s backpack (like grace and freedom) and what to ditch (like legalism and self-condemnation).

So I decided to take an intense spiritual trip through the New Testament, which has since turned into my book called (what else but) The Journey.

With fresh eyes, I began to see that Jesus really does love me. (This, dear readers, is a big deal.) I also began to see how much he needed his friends. (I need my friends.) I began to see his range of emotions, even the anger-without-sin part. I began to see how often he broke the “rules” to achieve the greater purpose, like healing a man’s arm on the Sabbath. I began to watch the life spans of New Testament folks, seeing aging as possibly the most exciting part of the life process. (I’m aging, alas.) I began to see spiritual dimensions, unseen but powerful. (I want more of that.) I began to feel more compassion. I began to feel more like a “being” than a “doing.” I began to feel a breakthrough coming on.  

We don’t mature all at once. We can collect souvenirs all along life’s path. Occasionally, we can revisit known territory with fresh eyes. Maybe it’s like visiting the Swiss Alps on a foggy day and coming back years later on a clear day saying, “I had no idea!”

I have a feeling we’ll be discovering new treasures forever. God is limitless and gives us a lifetime of journeying. Souvenirs await.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Here’s ordering info for The Journey.
ISBN 978-1-64559-438-3

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