Adventure: to engage in a hazardous and exciting activity, especially in the exploration of an unknown territory.
Doesn’t this perfectly describe what this practice of following God feels like at times? I think so. And in the same breath, I also wish it wasn’t so.
I often wonder, “Aren’t I getting to old for a kind of undomesticated, primitive life with God?”
The other day I had one those brutally honest moments with the Lord. I proceeded to tell Him all the reasons why I HATE the adventure we’re on together and why I’m not cut out for it.
I was feeling particularly agitated at the time, frustrated with my inability trust, to receive my situation and season as a gift, among other things. But through the years, I’ve learned letting the steam off in His presence is OK and surprisingly healing! God welcomes my outbursts of irrational emotions and fears. He is our safest place to rant and rave about all that concerns us.
In the quiet of my kitchen on a Tuesday morning, I scribbled down a few reasons why I abhor adventure at times. I wanted to share a few of them with you because maybe you can relate, and maybe it’s time for all of us to get beyond our qualms and say yes to the adventure anyways.
First, I wrote, I hate that all adventures summon us to a space of continual waiting and watching. (Often, I can’t even articulate exactly what it is I’m waiting or watching for either!) One foot in front of the other, following Him up the mountains, plodding down into the valleys, around the corners, through the forests, it can seem to drag on and on at times. We become familiar with the nagging four-year old inside of us, “Are we there yet?!”
But adventure has a way of dispelling distraction and inviting us to remain in a state of attentive expectation, actively learning how to follow His guidance, instead of running ahead in our make-it-happen spirit.
Second, adventure necessitates a surrendering to and delighting in the daily steps, not the final destination. Lately, no, I take that back, every day I lay down my love for certainty and my attraction to knowing and making plans that fit neatly on my timeline.
Embarrassingly so, I will fight God’s mysteries and sovereignty with so much fervor and intentionality that eventually I collapse in burn out, all the while still trying to cling to a sense of control.
And third, I loathe the ups and downs and vow daily to keep my life as stable and predictable as possible. Surely, we can take off our seatbelts at some point…right? Can’t God calm down a little with this whole thing called life…why all the swerves and curves? Alas, after about 20 years of walking with Jesus, I’m finally succumbing to the truth: Abundant, over-the top, thrilling life, the kind we crave and can only find with Him, is best described as a wild ride! Of course, it’s rarely like the adventure the world sends to us in postcard images of quaint cobblestone pathways or tropical beaches. It’s way more breathtaking and beautiful when we are adamant about staying in step with Holy Spirit. But I’d rather adventure be summed up in the picturesque views of the Eiffel Tower or the warmth of the Hawaiian sun, thank you very much.
So, we get our passports, whatever represents our ticket for escape, instead of buckling up and throwing ourselves wholly into an adventure with Him…right here in our midst.
What is it you despise about adventure? When you read the definition at the top what apprehensions surface, what sends pangs through your spirit?
Perhaps, you stand with your growing list of legitimate reasons that you’re not the type for this kind of full and abundant (and wild!) life of following Jesus into the unknown.
Maybe, being a woman, you’ve never envisioned yourself as one to leave the safety of your nest, sacrificing your comforts on the altar of His ultimate goodness and overwhelming faithfulness, or maybe you have, but can’t seem to find the strength to follow through?
Take a moment, before you turn out the light tonight, and grab a scrap piece of paper. Scribble out in black and white- what are you afraid of…what’s holding you back…why don’t you want to lean towards adventure?
I wonder if God might be murmuring to you, to us, “You’re never too old (or young!) for this…”
I’m looking forward to sharing Part 2 of this post tomorrow morning! An encouragement for us to discover the wild, to rise and dream, and nestle ourselves in the safe arms of our Romantic King. As women, let’s embark together beyond our belief that we just aren’t cut out for this kind of living and see what’s on the other side!
Traveling with you,