I happened to find the first book of the series last year in the new book display at our local library. Things can be hit or miss with these random picks since I never know exactly what I am getting. However, this series is a pretty good read. It is a story written in first person journal form of a man who decides to start a walking journey from the Seattle area to Key West, Florida, the furthest point he could find on the map from his life.
It didn’t take long for me to be caught up in the story as he walks you through the loss of nearly everything in his life and the journey he embarks on as a result. When I came to the end of the first book, I was so disappointed because it felt like the unfolding story was just getting started. I was pretty happy to pick up the second book last month at the library because I was curious to see if the author went anywhere with the story. Book 2: Miles to Go was a much more satisfying read because the first book: The Walk felt like a bit too much like an introduction that left me hanging. So, if you do decide to check out this book, I strongly recommend you get both books and read them at the same time, otherwise you might feel like I did about the first book.
I was particularly struck by this excerpt from p. 325 & 326 from Miles to Go (Book 2) of the Walk Series: “For the first time since I set foot on my journey. I knew exactly why I was walking. My journey wasn’t an escape from my past; it was a bridge to my future, and each small step was an act of faith and hope, affirming to myself that life was worth living. And with that simple revelation the weight was gone – the heaviness of my despair and self-pity. It was time to get on with what I’d committed to do and stop feeling sorry for myself. It was time to stop asking what I could take from life and learn what life was asking of me.”
This was very poignant reminder to me about how empty life can seem without hope, relational connection, and purpose. Many people ask about how I am dealing with my mom’s death earlier this year. I can truly say that if it wasn’t for the amazing comfort and peace I find in my daily relationship with God, I probably would have felt as devastated and mired in grief and loss as the main character described his journey. I can and do see the larger work of God’s hand in my life and know that everything has a time and a purpose. The darkest of moments, suffering, pain, and the most difficult of circumstances all have a purpose and role in your life’s journey. It gives me a tremendous sense of peace and hope on this journey we call life and a renewed sense of purpose in my life.
Definitely a worthwhile read.