About this book: (from the publisher) Matt and Brenda feel trapped because they look for God’s guidance about major life decisions in completely opposite ways. Their friends Brian and Lindsey try to help by introducing them to a person who had helped them gain an unshakable confidence in God’s will.
After meeting Sam Lewis in the stunning High Sierras, the three hike together, Matt and Brenda learn that God’s good and perfect will is not a destination on the horizon of life where everything makes sense, but a place where your life is exposed to God’s power. One by one, Sam’s eight principles illuminate the path ahead. As the story builds to its stunning conclusion, all three characters desperately seek and experience God’s redemptive guidance.
You will treasure this timeless tale about discovering God’s will.
About the author: (from Tyndale Media Center) Ed Underwood is a pastor, author, and speaker. In addition to leading Church of the Open Door, Ed has taught Bible school students, seminarians, spoken to packed conferences, and written numerous articles and books. When Ed is not studying, leading, discipling, writing, or speaking, he loves spending time with his wife, Judy, their children, and grandchildren. He enjoys backpacking, and still tries to surf some.
Genre: Non-Fiction/Christian Life/General
Ed, thank you for being here today on Story Matters and sharing a bit about the story behind the story of The Trail. Please tell us why you chose to deliver your message by way of a parable. Wouldn’t a non-fiction how-to have been an easier book to write?
There’s no question it would have been easier to write a non-fiction how-to book from the series I’ve been teaching for over 30 years. I wrote by way of parable or allegory because I’m intrigued by the power of story and I wanted to not only teach the principles but to illustrate it through the characters.
Plus, I love the High Sierras and I’ve written quite a lot of fiction from my years as a firefighter for a Hotshot crew. None of it is published, but I felt I could use fiction to not only teach the principles of the Trail, but also to introduce people to the High Sierras, the culture of wildland fire fighting, and the dynamic of discipleship or mentoring.
Has anyone suggested that The Trail is something like William P. Young’s 2008 bestseller The Shack? Do you agree or disagree with the comparison, and why?
Wow, I never thought of that. I enjoyed The Shack, and I do see some similarities. The one immediate difference I would point out is that The Trail is a story that teaches more specific biblical truth than The Shack did. The Trail seems more intentional about helping people in maybe a more specific way.
After reading The Trail, what is the one truth you want your readers to take away?
I want them to live expectantly, knowing that the God who cherishes them wants to reveal His guidance to them. I don’t want them to be afraid of God’s will for their lives or feel enslaved to some formula. I want them to feel as if they were on the journey with Sam and he helped them find their way in some life decision.
Thanks to Tyndale for providing me a free copy for this post. All opinions are mine.