I had a lot of fun preparing the audiobook version of No Road Too Far. There was something warmly rewarding about again reading these stories aloud for others. They began as readings for Christmas Eve services over the years. But now, with the space of time, I found myself freshly moved as I once again gave oral expression to them. Reading them aloud brings me deep waves of emotion each time. I hope these readings will similarly move deeply in the hearts of many listeners, guiding each one to a fresh encounter with Jesus.
Long Story Short — Sorani Kurdish edition
No Road Too Far is an collection of seven short stories of Biblical fiction. This is a first for me. All my previous published works have been non-fiction, mostly commentaries and Biblical expositions. So, some may wonder, What is the origin of these stories?
I wrote these stories throughout the 2010’s at a rate of about one a year. Each of them was written originally as a Christmas gift to the people of the Stow Alliance Fellowship, where I served as pastor from 2001-2020. Year by year on Christmas Eve I shared a new story I had written.
Though not all the stories are dominated by the biblical narratives of Jesus’ birth, they do all in some way relate to His first Advent. For this reason, though they are not presented now as a Christmas book, they do make good meditations for the Advent season. Reading a couple of stories a week as a family might be a wonderful way of preparing for the celebration of Christmas.
While this is the immediate genesis of each of these stories, indirectly their roots go back much further than that. As is the case in many families, our three children all begged for stories at bedtime. My default question in the face of their request was: Real or pretend? When “real” was their answer I would unfold some experience from my past. But when they said, “pretend” my creative juices began to flow. So I’ve been telling my children stories for decades.
But actually the origin of my story-telling goes all the way back to my preschool years. If my mother were still with us she would readily tell you that I’ve been telling stories from the moment I could speak.
Somewhere along the line I became captivated with the one great Story, the Story God is authoring across the ledger of human history and in each of our lives. As the hymn says, “I love to tell the story.” I have written of that Story (and how our personal stories can be a part of seeing its final chapter written) in non-fiction form in my book Long Story Short: God, Eternity, History, and You. But the seven short stories that make up No Road Too Far are another means by which I can tell the Story of God and His pursuit of writing you into it.