Posted by: hikerdude | January 4, 2016

Another Trip Around the Sun

Hilton Head 2013 161The first book I started reading in 2016 is called, A Trip Around the Sun: Turning Your Everyday Life Into the Adventure of a Lifetime.  It is co-written by Mark Batterson and his mentor, Richard Foth.  Just as I started reading the book, I had a thought. It seems to me, an all-powerful God could have simply suspended the earth as a stationary sphere in the universe.  Why does the earth need to spin?  For that matter, why does it need to make an annual journey around the sun?  What is up with all this motion anyway?

Maybe God knew how we would like to have things stay the same – you know…unchanging.  Maybe God knew we needed a nudge to remind us that the only way things get better is for there to be change.  How boring would life become if it was unchanging, unmoving, and utterly predictable?

Things were different for us this Christmas season.  My son, Grant, was not home with us.  He was in Africa on a mission trip.  We had our family Christmas with him right after Thanksgiving.  We missed having him home for Christmas morning.  But maybe that was just to prepare us for the day when he will have his own family and celebrate Christmas morning at his own home.  My Grandmother Pope was not with us this Christmas either.  She died, just a few short months after celebrating her 100th trip around the sun.  She lived a full life.  Maybe that was a reminder to us to savor each moment with our aging parents and to appreciate every opportunity we have to spend time with them this side of eternity.

We are in that awkward transition period in life when our children are becoming young adults, who are more independent and doing things on their own.  At the same time, our parents begin to rely on us more to do the things they once did on their own.  And we will be there one day ourselves.

This brings me to another thought.  While we are on this spinning earth, traveling around the sun with all this motion and change, there are still patterns from which we can learn.  There are days and nights.  There are seasons.  These recurring patterns do give us some predictability.  Yes, we all knew that it would not stay in the 70’s all winter.  It gets cold in the winter –generally.  And in a few, short months we will once again have a spring.

There are certain patterns in life and we need to take note of those patterns.  A wise man will learn from these patterns and apply them to their life.  I was a History major in college and a quote which has served me well in life and in the law (think precedents) is, “Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.”  But with that said, I think there is also a lot of truth in Mark Twain’s quote, “History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”  Seeing the patterns and similarities which tend to recur in our lives help us on this long journey of uncertain duration into the unknown called the future.  It does sound a bit like an adventure, doesn’t it?

This trip around the sun in 2016, will be similar in many respects to the other past 57 times I’ve made this journey.  But, little by little, things are changing and so must I.  It has taken many years to learn the lesson, but aside from God and His love for us, the only true constant in our lives is change.  If I refuse to change, my timing will be off all year long and I will find myself trying to live in the past, frustrated by all the change.

I read a book near the end of 2015 called, One Word Which Will Change Your Life.  The premise of the book was that we should all try to find a one-word theme for each year.  It is a matter of preparing our hearts to hear from God what it is that we should focus on and then filtering our life experiences through that theme for the year.  My word is “prepare.”  There are many things for which I know I will need to prepare in 2016.  If things never changed there wouldn’t be as much need to prepare, but things are constantly changing, so I will prepare in the six spheres of my life: spiritual, physical, mental, relational, emotional and financial.

So, as we begin this next trip around the sun, what will be different in your life?  If you are unchanging, you will be at odds with all the change around you which God has ordained.  Don’t let the numbers on the calendar be the only thing that you change in 2016.  Happy New Year!  Enjoy another trip around the sun.


  1. […] (My dad’s blog is Hikerdude on WordPress. For more great reflective writing, check out his post “Another Trip Around the Sun.” […]

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