Posted by: mikenicholsblog | December 31, 2015

stay closer to the Son

Tomorrow starts a new trip around the sun for all of us. Now, for those of you who are thinking “what is he talking about?” just remember that the earth rotates the sun every 365.256 days. So, once a year we all take a trip around the sun. My thinking turned to this concept while reading a fascinating book called, A Trip around the Sun, by Mark Batterson and Richard Foth. My wife and I are just starting our 40th trip together, and just like the 39 prior ones, it will be filled with various circumstances, emotions and events we could never have imagined. We cannot control (nor can you) what happens as we orbit, but we can definitely determine how we navigate the next trip.

It is interesting to me that as I write this article, most thoughtful people are planning that next trip, just like Genel and I are.  By next week, all of those plans will come face to face with the reality of living as frail people in a fallen world. The question is, how you will navigate the trip when that reality hits. If you are a Christ-follower, will you stick to the spiritual disciplines that were launched on January 1st? From a physical standpoint, will the plans to eat healthier, and stay (or become) physically fit endure the rigors of another long journey around the sun? We all naturally have 2016 goals that are foremost on our minds. Will they continue as next year’s journey picks up steam?

We all have had interesting adventures circling the sun. Some years we have accomplished many of our goals and landed well.  There have been other trips which ended with us limping to the finish. I am sure you know what I mean. Again, we can’t control the journey, but we can control how we navigate it. The challenge is to be committed to our never-changing values and live 2016 with hearts that are absolutely determined not to let the circumstances, emotions and events of the trip derail us. It is critical to set the disciplines and parameters of the next 365.256 days in place now, then be unwavering in journeying through it. And remember, navigating 2016 doesn’t just effect you, but all those traveling with you as well.

I don’t need to go further with trying to motivate you, but I do want to leave you with a quote from my reading that can be a challenge for your next trip around the sun.  Leonardo da Vinci penned the following words from a lifetime of observation:

The average human being “looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, inhales without awareness of odor or fragrance, and talks without thinking.”

Those words speak to the challenge we face in navigating 2016. The key will be to turn all of the “without’s” to “with’s.” Take heart!  In Christ, it can be done. The choice is ours!

During the Christmas season, our daughter grew weary of hearing about a trip around the sun. You may be having similar feelings right now. But the journey will begin tomorrow, and you and I are accountable for how we navigate the next trip. My last words for 2015 are this: stay closer to the Son than ever before, and your next trip around the sun can be the ride of a lifetime. You can do it!



  1. Thank you for letting God use you to speak words of encouragement that are much needed right now. I pray he blesses your next trip around the sun because of your willingness to be used by him. Praying for a relinquished journey onWord in 2016.

  2. Thank you to the entire team on an inspiring unending mission of filling us with encouragement and blessing us with insights through His Word
    And congrats on 40 years together !!!!

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