If you’ve followed this blog, you already know that we encourage people to stay active, to renew their minds, and to pursue their dreams. Life is short. And I can’t imagine anyone would want his life to be lived in vain, to count for nothing. Our calling is clearly more than simply pursuing our own pleasure. We have something to contribute: time, talent, and treasure. Discovering ourselves and what we have to bring to the world around us should not cease as we age. Self-discovery revolves around learning and growing. And there is adventure in learning.
Debbie and I have been learning a lot lately. After printing Two Are Better: Midlife Newlyweds Bicycle Coast to Coast in December, we moved in earnest toward book marketing. Because we think Two Are Better tells an important story, we find ourselves navigating through the sometimes bumpy, sometimes winding roads to publishing places as yet unknown. It really has been a fascinating learning experience, if not a daunting challenge. But when God entrusts you with something special–in this case a personal testimony of His goodness and faithfulness–you treat it with care while doing your best to shepherd it.
What we think of our story, however, matters little to others. After all, we are clearly biased and we have a vested interest in the book’s success. Prospective readers deserve to have others judge, and vouch for, the quality and appeal of Two Are Better. Herein lies our latest adventure. In January, we began a campaign to solicit reviews from industry insiders. It really is a jungle out there. Trying to get noticed in a “space” this big is difficult. Some of these experts work for long-established organizations that would lend instant credibility to this project. Others are industry mavericks.
Discovering what others think of our story stirs some familiar feelings–we remember them well from our cross-country bicycle tour. Here we are again, trying to find our way through unfamiliar surroundings, exposed to the elements, and vulnerable–at the mercy of total strangers. Yet, reuniting with the anticipation and excitement that comes with discovering our surroundings fuels our growth engines once again.
Your wilderness probably looks different than ours. Maybe it’s a hobby, a project, a business venture, an activity, a book, or a new assignment. But it awaits you nonetheless. And it promises to deliver the same type of engagement and fulfillment as any stimulating endeavor. Embrace the adventure in learning. The exhilaration will do you good.
Rather than arriving at a place where you already know all that you need to know, growing older is really more about recognizing what you don’t know, and then learning about it. Experience and maturity better equip us to grow and learn. Once the foundation is in place, don’t stop laying bricks until the wall is as high as you can make it. The moment you think you’ve completed it, you’ve likely begun coasting downhill toward life’s finish line, accelerating to lower levels of success and fulfillment.