Monday, January 28, 2019

Book Review: The First Time I Rode a Freight Train & other hitchhiking stories

This is an email I received today from someone who gave me a ride a couple of times in Montana:

Hi Tim,

I picked up a copy of The First Time I Rode a Freight Train & Other Hitchhiking Stories at the Bitterroot Library [Hamilton, Montana] and just finished reading it. I feel like I know you quite well now, just from this account of what a few years on the road looked like for you.

One of my favorite chapters was "A Christmas Story or Junked Cars Can Be Beautiful". I actually read that just a few days before Christmas and it gave me a feeling that the Christmas story lives on in forms less obvious. In general, I really liked the meaning that you gave to roads, cars, and the people that drive them. As a car enthusiast myself, I have always loved wrenching and driving. I think I mentioned to you one of the times I picked you up that a few friends and I race an old BMW that we work on together. Likewise, searching for secluded, twisting backroads to really let our cars stretch their legs on and hug some corners has always been a special pastime with that same group of friends. Roads, cars, and the people that drive them have been important in my life, too; it was striking to see the completely different meaning that these things have in your life.

Also, in reading your book, I’ve given a lot of thought as to where God is trying to lead me. I believe that one can be led by the Spirit, even if not physically moving in a nomadic sense. I’ve had a lot of questions in my mind regarding the next step in my life - medical school. I applied to both M.D. and D.O. programs, but am struggling with a myriad of issues concerning which degree I should pursue. It wasn’t until I was nearly done with your book that I started to ask where God wants me to be. I am seeking His counsel.

--Alek Wood

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