Tuesday, May 2, 2017
We Stood Upon Stars: Finding God in Lost Places by Roger W. Thompson - Book Review
From the publisher: Get Lost. . . and Find What Really Matters
We are made for freedom and adventure, friendship and romance. Yet too much of life is spent unfulfilled at work, restless at home, and bored at church. All the while knowing there is something more. You’ll find some of life’s best moments waiting for you over a campfire, on a river—even in that coffee shop or brewery you didn’t know you’d discover along the way. It’s time to begin the search.
In the literary spirit of well-worn tales about America’s open road, this poetic, honest, often hilarious collection of essays shows how to embark on adventures that kindle spiritual reflection, personal growth, and deeper family connections.
From surfing California’s coastlines, stargazing southwestern deserts, and fly-fishing in remote mountains of Montana, you’ll be inspired to follow the author’s footsteps and use the hand-drawn maps from each chapter to plan your own trips. There you will hear God’s voice – and it may help you find what you’re searching for.
“We search mountaintops and valleys, deserts and oceans, hoping sunrises and long views through the canyons will help us discover who we are, or who we still want to be. The language of our hearts reflects that of creation because in both are fingerprints of God.”
—Roger W. Thompson
We Stood Upon Stars is a series of short essays by Roger W. Thompson. Each essay makes up a chapter, for a total of 31 chapters. In short, Thompson loves to explore the outdoors, particularly in the American West. His adventures take him all over California, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota, among a couple of others. Throughout his travels, he reflects on what it means to be a man and how God's beauty and plan are reflected and found in nature, or as the subtitle says, Finding God in Lost Places.
I enjoyed this book. Each chapter was its own little story, a slice of Thompson's life. He does a masterful job of describing the various scenes in nature he sees, and is very open about how he feels. Several of the chapters deal with very specific "wounds" and personal sadnesses (I know it's not a word, but tragedy didn't feel right). He also writes with a subtle sense of humor, most often at his own expense.
We Stood Upon Stars can be enjoyed on two levels. The first is in Thompson's travels around the U.S. I found myself imaging the landscapes he visited, and was able to picture many of them in my mind's eye. There is a beauty to the West that many people never experience, and Thompson brings a bit of that to his readers. He also fills his essays with adventures: fly fishing, looking for surf, camping in National Parks, river rafting, etc. These give a cool view to those who've never experienced them. This book can also be enjoyed as a meditation on God's plan for our lives. While he never gets overly religious, Thompson doesn't shy away from discussing God's majesty. He is also very open about where he turns in times of need and sorrow. In some aspects, this book reminded me of some of John Eldredge's early books. Its very much about using the outdoors to connect with God and pass on traditions of being a man (Thompson has two sons).
Overall, We Stood Upon Stars by Roger W. Thompson was a good read. I liked the clear writing style and the fact that I could read a couple of chapters at a time and then put it down. I also liked the nuggets of wisdom I found sprinkled throughout. It was exactly what I was looking for when I decided to give it a shot. I recommend this book to fathers, outdoorsy types, and readers looking to find God in places other than their "usual spots".
I received a preview copy of this book as part of the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.