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Road Warrior: How to Keep Your Faith, Relationships, and Integrity When Away from Home Paperback – Feb 19 2008
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About the Author
Stephen Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries and host of the nationally syndicated daily radio program, New Life Live! A popular conference speaker and best-selling author, Stephen has written over 60 books including the Every Man series. He lives with his family in Laguna Beach, California.
Sam Gallucci is a teaching director of Community Bible Study and on staff at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, California. He has extensive experience in the business world as an executive for a customer relationship management software company. He and his wife Toni are the parents of three sons.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Introduction: Welcome to the Pitfalls of Frequent Travel
I (Steve) began hitting the road–or air–when I was still in my twenties.
Since then, I have logged more than five million miles, about four million of them on American Airlines. Travel has become a regular part of my life, and virtually every week I find myself on an airplane bound for a new destination.
Early on, I learned that a trip could become an easy escape if I let it. Though the weight of marital problems might sap my energy at home, I could instantly be reenergized as I carried my suitcase out the door (this was before rollers became standard equipment).
But with the world as my playground, temptations lay everywhere. I felt the allure of the road and learned of the disconnection and compartmentalization that can so easily creep into relationships. The road is seductive. It offers a romance all its own, and it’s easy to allow it to take hold of you.
How does this dangerous road romance begin?
It’s really quite easy. Let’s say you’re traveling somewhere for business with important and powerful clients. Not only is your identity back home a mystery, but you become a special guest in their eyes. You’re the one they go out of their way to make feel welcome. Anonymity and inflated significance– that’s a dangerous combination.
Or perhaps you’re a long-haul trucker with a load to pull and a check to earn. You’ve spent all day out on the highway, busting your chops. You’re tired; you’re hungry. But the moment you set foot in a motel or truck stop, you’re waited on hand and foot. Inside those walls is a sanctuary–it’s all about you.
You never have to clean up after yourself, wash dirty dishes, discipline your kids, or share the remote. You’re the paying customer, and in that kingly environment, you’re always right.
In both cases, you learn to develop an attraction for a world quite different from the world you regularly encounter at home. This new world makes you feel consistently important, respected, significant, in control–all the things men (especially) long for. That feeling is highly attractive. The more you feel it, the more you want it.
That’s the allure of road romance.
But this new romance is not all it’s cracked up to be. Over time, the superficial ways in which you are treated satisfy less and less. You begin to realize a new, gnawing sensation. It may be hard to pinpoint at first, but soon you learn its name.
It feels painful at first; you wish you were around people who knew you. But over time, in a twisted sort of way, that loneliness can actually begin to feel appealing. As strange as it sounds, left unchecked and unmanaged, loneliness can actually become a romantic pursuit of its own. It becomes something you look forward to, something you learn to not only cope with, but prefer. It is how you live, what you do, who you are, and where you spend the majority of your time.
You’re alone and disconnected–and you like it.
I (Sam) was seduced by that strange romance. It nearly destroyed my relationship with my wife and pushed me to the edge of personal disaster for years. What prevented me from going completely over the falls was a very painful wake-up call (which I will share in the pages ahead) that finally jolted me to my senses. How ironic that my deepest personal failure came at the height of my professional success.
I know I am not alone.
If you travel frequently, or your loved one does, you understand what I’m talking about. We are often perceived as successful, hard-working, and in control of our lives. But we are constantly battling the same problem.
Some of us haven’t even stopped long enough to assess the situation, to see that our constant career travel is taking a toll on our lives and on the lives of those we care the most about. It’s a horrible trade-off: every career success brings another personal failure.
In the end, what we end up pursuing is that which we have come to hate: loneliness. And every mile logged on the road helps dig that pit of despair just a little bit deeper.
Our goal in writing this book is simple: when you travel frequently, you come face to face with forces that can destroy you. We want to prevent that. We’ve titled this book Road Warrior because that’s what frequent travelers must become–combatants of destruction, protectors of integrity, guardians of the personal relationships that matter most.
In the next few chapters, we’ll address the effects that loneliness can have on a traveler’s personal life and relationships. We’ll take a look at some of the substitutes we pursue and addictions we find. You’ll hear stories from our lives and from the lives of others we know. We’ll show you proven strategies to overcome the obstacles that every road warrior faces, and we’ll give you the tools to fully protect your personal life and relationships as you travel.
At the end of each chapter, you’ll notice a series of questions for reflection. We hope you take advantage of these. They are there to help you sort out the information you read, evaluate your personal situation, and take action to create a battle plan.
No matter how many years you have spent on the road, our hope is that this book stirs you to take action, to invest “face time” in your personal relationships– your spouse, family, and friends. Whether you are single or married, fly in private jets or drive an eighteen-wheeler, you can develop balance and fulfillment as you move forward with the rest of your working career.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
But behind the mask of success may be a painful reality: bankrupt relationships with family, friends, self, and God. "In order to cope, spouses learn to become independent of each other. They become the `married divorced' as their relationship gradually moves more toward a domestic partnership," says author Sam Gallucci.
Gallucci tells his very personal story in the book, Road Warriors. His vulnerable account reveals his disastrous personal failure at the height of success as a Christian businessman. After years of gradual compromise, he woke to find himself deep in sexual sin.
"I had two lives, one on the road and one at home. And each year the distance between them grew farther apart . . . The lessons are still raw in my mind--some are still being sorted out today. How did I ever get to the place where I chose to sin . . . the answer to that question is why (we) have collaborated on this book."
Using the book in their own lives, the two authors give proven and practical ideas to the traveler on:
1) How to develop his (or her) relationship with God at home in order to utilize God's strength on the road
2) How to maintain a thriving relationship with his wife and children at home and long-distance
3) How to maximize accountability relationships while on the road
4) How to set filters to protect one's heart and behavior, and recognize the emotions that could easily lead toward a destructive path
Designed for the busy traveler, the chapters are quick reads. In fact, in just one sitting, the reader can skim the book and get enough from the main points to begin to make positive changes that night. Each chapter opens with "Quick Tips to Grab on the Go", and concludes with thought-provoking questions to use for personal prayer or discussion with an accountability group.
The book is divided into three parts: The Challenge, The Consequences, and the Solution. Many points are repeated in the first eighty pages, the first two sections. The third part--The Solution--is the catalyst for changing one's life.
Road Warriors is a preventive tool for the young traveler, as well as a must-read for the person who is lost on a destructive path. Though written in the context of business travel, the information in this book is as important for military marriages.
With a new measure for success, Gallucci now "attacks each day as a road warrior--someone who fights for what matters most."
Travel away from home for business produces relational and moral stresses on the traveler. Travel adds stress on relationships and distance between family family members.
Arterburn and Gallucci are concerned about this disconnect at several levels. The toll on families and the traveler is a universal problem in the consuming business atmosphere of the USA.
Business can demand more and more time and energy, all one has to give, squeezing out family and friends, even personal time. They describe out of their own experience and the testimonies of others how life on the road leads to a sense of personal disorientation, in a separation and loss of relationship with spouse and children.
But further, a personal loneliness sets in and the lack of clear context leaves the road warrior without any clear parameters or reference points for activities, schedules or moral accountability.