You would never know it by looking at me, but I absolutely love adventure. I have this insatiable desire to see new places, do new things, meet new people, and try new foods. It might take me an hour to jump off the cliff, but there’s no way I’m not going to do it. I may never want to do it again, but I’m definitely doing it the first time.
Even if the adventure scares me, the thought of living life without it is significantly more dreadful to me.
I believe we all crave adventure from somewhere deep inside our soul. Why else would the top grossing box office hits of all time be movies like Avatar, Titanic, Star Wars, Jurassic World, and Avengers? Adventure calls to us because it transports us beyond the monotony of our daily lives into a world of purpose, excitement, and exploits beyond natural ability.
Adventure is defined as this (from dictionary.com):
an exciting or very unusual experience
participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises
a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome
So what if I told you every person has been created for an epic adventure of their very own, an adventure complete with a protagonist (you!) endowed with supernatural strength, called to perform exploits of divine purpose, the effects of which reach across time and into eternity?!
THAT is how God created us to live our lives...every single one of us.
Beyond our own strength…
But he [God] said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9a, NIV)
For a divine purpose…
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)
From the earliest days of my childhood I imagined my adventure would take me full-time to the deserts, mountains, and villages of Africa. Much to my dismay, while missions to foreign lands have been interwoven throughout my journey, my adventure began in the backyards of suburban America - quite mundane if you would have asked me 25 years ago.
However, God chose this seemingly commonplace home base to launch me across the front lines in the fight against human trafficking. This “stay-at-home-mom” was called and catapulted into classrooms, jails, boardrooms, and city streets. I went from raising my voice to my children to raising my voice to students, professionals, law enforcement, and lawmakers about a sexualized culture, pornography, worth and value, and being counter-cultural. It was scary, it was risky, it was unusual, and it was thrilling. It was so completely beyond me that I can never again be satisfied with what is “comfortable.”
Before that, and still, my mission was inside the walls of my home - loving, teaching, and training the little people God entrusted to my care and influence. It was serving within the walls of my church, loving within the walls of my workplaces, and mingling on the streets of my neighborhoods.
My home base and the details of my mission have recently been slightly modified - from the backdrop of city streets, suburban neighborhoods, and government buildings to rolling hills, sprawling fields, and cows. This newest adventure reminds me quite frequently that the adventure I crave, by its very definition, is “unusual, bold, and risky.” I whisper to myself several times a week, “it’s an adventure, it’s an adventure, it’s an adventure.”
Adventure involves pain and joy, love and loss, physical sacrifice and spiritual gain - sometimes simultaneously.
But oh, there is an unmatched peace and fulfillment that comes with the adventure. Your adventure may begin inside the walls of your workplace or your home. It may be on the streets of your community or the soils of foreign lands. Regardless of the setting of your adventure, one thing remains the same - there is no place on this side of Heaven in which we experience God in a bigger way than when we are living the adventure He has created us for.
Our adventure is a place in which God orchestrates our gifts and talents to collide with our passions and desires, to accomplish feats which will fail without divine partnership. It’s living within our sweet spot, yet outside of our abilities.
And it’s contingent upon one thing - Jesus! Yes, to live our adventure, we must first pursue its Author.
...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith… (Hebrews 12:1b-2a, NASB)
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” -Jesus (John 15:5, NIV)
Only God can equip us for the adventure to which He’s called us! And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to settle for anything less.
Oh Lord, take me where I need to go and make me who You want me to be to do what You’ve called me to do. Amen!!