Resource: The Road Trip That Changed The World

I love using this platform to talk about some amazing resources. Oh yeah, I love giving away these resources as well!

This one comes from Moody Publishers and an author named Mark Sayers. Mark’s new book is called The Road Trip That Changed The World, and was released by Moody earlier this summer. I had the chance to ask Mark a few questions about his book:

(Check the bottom for a chance to get a free copy of this book!)

What inspired you to write this book?

One day standing at the baggage claim at LAX watching the people and the baggage go round and round, I had an epiphany – that we as a culture were obsessed with movement, that it under-girded how we do everything, life, church, faith, relationships, an so on. This realization was a key to getting to the bottom of a bunch of questions that had been jostling in my mind, about how we expect so much from Church now in contrast to the past, about what it is to live a life of meaning in a secular society, about why so many people who have grown up with faith ‘journey’ away from it. I wanted to craft this realization and these questions and the answers that I came to into an engaging book that would give people a language for what they are experiencing in their lives, and to point them towards biblical answers for the unique issues that they are facing.

Do you have a favorite chapter? Why is it your favorite?

It is a bit hard to pick a favorite, I guess it is like asking a parent as to which is their favorite child. I would probably have to say the first, second, and last chapters. These chapters blend together the stories of some interesting historical characters in order to shed light upon the broader historical trends that were happening at the time. In the first two chapters I tell the stories of Sayyid Qutb the intellectual inspiration of Al Qeada and of Jack Kerouac the author of the hipster bible On The Road  and how they were affected by living in New York in 1947, and how their differing responses would shape the lives of millions of young adults in our day. In the last chapter I tell the inspiring story of Japanese Christian Takashi Nagai, a victim of the atomic attack upon Nagasaki, who lived out the most amazing Christian response in the face incredible tragedy.

In your book you talk about “The Road” and how it can be dangerous. Will you explain that to a potential reader?

I contrast in the book two ideas of movement, firstly there is the idea of movement that our culture has I call this ‘the road” it is the idea that the whole of life is a journey. By seeing life as a journey we can live this highly individualistic life, moving on from relationships, commitments, and responsibilities. The people that we meet and the places that we go are simply players in our personal life play. When you view life like this you can leave your spouse because you need to ‘move on’, you can give up your faith as a ‘life stage’. Our culture has bought the myth that it is not about the destination but the journey, in contrast the bible still talks about movement but is big on the destination. Whilst our culture is entranced by the horizon that hovers tantalizingly over the open road, the walk of the people of God ends at the cross, at self denial. The road is all about self-expression and personal freedom, the cross is all about freedom but a freedom that only comes through a death to self.

How would you describe the “faith” of the millennial generation?

I think that like any other generation in history that the majority of millennials want God, they want their lives to matter, they want to make a difference in the world. Yet millennial live at a time in history when there are unique challenges to faith. Whilst a small and vocal majority call for millennials to live without God, the most seductive and prevalent voice however is the one that asks millennials to keep a foot in both camps to have faith but a faith that is minus commitment, covenant, responsibility and community.

You write about traveling and the idea of a journey. What is the most exciting trip or journey that you have ever taken

I think after writing so much about our cultures obsession with and the mythology that we have constructed around travel, it is hard to see traveling in the same way. I do remember getting rather excited when I was sixteen and my parents took me to Europe on a family vacation. Growing up in Australia you can feel isolated at the bottom of the world, so as a nation we tend to travel a lot.

What is one big idea that you want readers to take from this book?

I want people to examine the life script that they live out of, to not simply just follow the prompts given to us by our culture of ‘The Road’ but to rediscover the almost forgotten art of a life of devotion, a connection to God, place and people.  I think it was William Greider who said that good times don’t automatically equal the good life. I want to through this book to awaken people to the good life that can be found in giving your life fully over to Christ.

If you could give young people today one piece of advice, what would it be?

To not look to the multi-lane highway of the culture of the road, but instead to the small, dusty path, worn by millions of servant feet, that leads toward the Cross and true life.

Are you planning to write more books in the near future? Are you working on anything currently?

Yes there are some ideas starting to coalesce in my head but I find that you need to almost stop trying to work on a book before the ideas starting flowing, creativity for me a least happens when you create a space for the ideas to flow into.

How can readers find you and/or buy your book?

You can find my books in all the usual places online and in good bookstores. You can find me at marksayersthinks.com or follow me on twitter @sayersmark

For a chance to win a copy of Mark’s book, CLICK HERE to send a tweet about this post. 

[Disclaimer: This contest is only valid in the US, and ends Friday 8/17/2012 at 11:55 pm EDT. You may only enter one time.]

  • http://messymiddle.com/ Amy Young

    I’m always on the look out for a good book! Thanks for the recommendation and interview.

    • http://prodigalmagazine.com/ Darrell Vesterfelt

      No problem Amy!

  • http://twitter.com/joannamuses joanna

    I’ve been reading that book over the past few days and have almost finished it. I’ve got heaps of post-it notes hanging out the side of it noting ideas I should come back to and think about some more. I think Mark is very perceptive about the world view of contemporary young people and his theory about
    Kerouac’s role in it is very interesting.

    • http://prodigalmagazine.com/ Darrell Vesterfelt

      Thanks for sharing! I am glad you are enjoying the book!

  • http://www.tonyjalicea.com Tony J. Alicea

    This looks great, Mark! Thanks for the recommendation, Darrell.

    • http://prodigalmagazine.com/ Darrell Vesterfelt

      No problem Tony!