Fifty-one times! That’s how many times Andy Andrews’ Book, The Traveler’s Gift, was rejected before it finally was published by Thomas Nelson Books. O.K, first off, I didn’t even know there were 51 publishers in the United States and secondly, I have to give some serious kudos to Andy Andrews for being so persistent. I could maybe handle one, two, or even three rejection letters but 51? The therapy bill alone would send us to the poor house.
If you recall from a previous blog, I read Andy Andrews’ book, The Noticer, last summer and loved it. What I didn’t know at the time is that the story of the homeless man, living under a pier in Orange Beach, Alabama, was based on Andy’s own life. I could tell you more, but then again you could also go to his website and read all about Andy’s story. It’s really pretty amazing.
Anyway, back to the book. As mentioned, I read The Noticer last summer and when my friend told me Andy had another book out called The Traveler’s Gift I went home and immediately downloaded it to my Kindle. I read it during our mission trip to Russia and somehow never posted a review of it here on my blog. Let’s blame it on jet-lag.
The Traveler’s Gift is the story of a man, Donald Ponder, who has reached his breaking point. He’s lost his big corporate job, is working at a hardware store trying to make ends meet, and his daughter is in need of surgery which they can’t afford. To top it off it’s winter and, as those of us who live in cold climates know, winter is a bad time to be depressed. While contemplating the situation that is his life, Ponder, driving a little too fast for the icy conditions, slides off the road, to what is surely his demise.
Instead of dying, however, Ponder finds himself traveling back in time to Potsdam, Germany talking with President Harry Truman. It seems that Truman, who is rather busy making decisions about ending World War II, has a message to deliver to Mr. Ponder. At the end of their meeting together Truman hands Ponder a piece of paper with the first of Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success (which also happens to be the subtitle of the book.) When Ponder finishes reading the first “Decision,” he is transported to his next destination in history.
As David Ponder continues his travel through time he’ll meet up with six more historical figures from which he’ll learn another of the seven decisions. What are these decisions, you ask? Well, if I told you that would spoil the book for you. Actually, it probably wouldn’t, but still, it’ll make reading it so much more fun if you discover them for yourself. I found myself excited to get to the next “decision” as I read. If you must know what they are you can find them listed on Andy Andrews’ website. Oh, by the way, when you learn what the seventh decision is, you’ll know why Mr. Andrews did not give up as publisher after publisher rejected a manuscript that would go on to sell over a million copies.
The Traveler’s Gift is more than just a novel. It’s history, inspiration, a challenge, and a whole lot of truth, all rolled into one. Once again, I found myself underlining sections of the book so I could go back and ponder the thoughts. Here’s one of my favorites:
Indecision limits the Almighty and His ability to perform miracles in your life. He has put the vision in you – proceed! To wait, to wonder, to doubt, to be indecisive is to disobey God. Wow! I should have that embroidered on a pillow, or painted on a plaque in my house!
You will never regret the time you spend reading this book. In fact, you might want to read it more than once. And, if you are still looking for just the right gift to give someone for Christmas, the only person I can think of that wouldn’t appreciate The Traveler's Gift is the one who already owns it. (And truthfully, Andy Andrews is not paying me to say this.)
If you are done with your shopping, do what I do, buy The Traveler’s Gift for yourself, put it in your stocking and act surprised on Christmas morning. Consider it my little gift to you.