Book Review: Traveler's Gift

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A dear friend sent me this book by Andy Andrews. It is a simple and short book built around a troubled person who has fallen on hard times. In his despair he drives excessive speeds and creates a major accident. During the period “in between” his accident and his consciousness, he travels throughout history and meets prominent figures who teach him lessons about success. The list of those he visits includes King Solomon, Presidents Harry Truman and Abraham Lincoln, Anne Frank, and others. From these he learns about receiving wisdom, practicing perseverance, having the courage of your convictions, and living for eternity. The man is also transported into the future where he finds his family (and their legacy) blessed by his determination to apply these life lessons.

Andy Andrews brings the best of human wisdom to a man in serious trouble. This book is a reminder that certain life principles are timeless. The challenges and temptations that we face in this generation have surely been faced in previous generations. The book also emphasizes the personal responsibility each of us has… and it is never too late to do what is right. The decisions that we make today, while they may appear small or insignificant, in reality have a profound effect upon the future. There is always hope for a reversal of our troubled circumstances, and the way out likely comes through small but determined steps.

With these strengths in mind, it is worthy to mention that the book does tend to emphasize human capability, human choice, human initiative, and human wisdom. The success described in the book is a success that is at least tinged with worldly values (popularity, wealth, reputation, etc). The book does not claim to be expressly Christian in orientation, and it does not call forth one’s need for salvation or reconciliation with God. Even so, it does creatively emphasize the value of human life and the importance of our choices. As long as one does not expect this book to be what it is not, it is a valuable read that confronts the arrogance of thinking that our generation is the best.