“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Helen Keller, The Open Door.
Ever been on an adventure? Remember the beating pulse; the looking forward to some new, as yet unknown thrill? Dictionary.com says an adventure is an exciting or unusual experience. It may also be a bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome.
Yes, there is a huge unknown factor that could bring more than surprise or thrills. It could bring notoriety, personal fulfillment, undiscovered knowledge, education or even wealth. Just as potent a possibility is the opposite experience; embarrassment, personal loss, danger, loss of a dream or even death. What is it about the front end of an adventure that quickens us though? You see, unless there were hope of some positive life change in us, we likely would not risk being thought a fool.
I was visiting recently with some close friends who adopted twins. They stood on the liminal threshold of hope for these new family additions presaging a major change in their family rhythm. They trusted that with God’s help and blessing they could provide love, security and care to a pair who never could have hope without someone’s open heart and a hand up. A few years after winning custody and two beautiful, grateful children the adventure still holds challenging, unanswered issues. They, as all of us do, must remind themselves that they embarked on this adventure full of hope, confident of God’s direction and hearts filled with love for two of His dear children. As an observer can only cite what he sees, I must say that I believe this adventure has served to bring them greater faith, dependence on and relationship with God.
A review of my own story places me both in the middle of an adventure and the not yet of a dynamic narrative still to be written. With hope we all advance into tomorrow, the great unknown, possessing only faith that our story will leave a Jesus legacy that includes trusting Him explicitly for the outcome that brings the most glory to Him.
Everything we read and hear about Jesus in His-story involves a dynamic life. Movement, not a static, congealed existence. At the intersection of crisis and a word or touch from Jesus, amazing, super- (beyond or above) natural adventures were manifested. These occurred wherever Jesus travelled and he was gone from home all the time, on his adventure.
“The church should be one of the most adventurous places on earth–the locus of all quest(s), the . . . Jesus community at the very forefront of what God is doing in the world.” Michael Frost; Alan Hirsch, Faith of Leap. They continue; “When we consider the biblical stories that have inspired the people of God throughout the ages, we find that they are stories involving adventures of the spirit in the context of challenge. In fact, that is exactly why they inspire.”
We must be explorers seeking new venues of Spirit activity. We must continually ask questions, for that is our destiny. When Christianity stops its quest because it is satisfied in the security of the known, it will die. The “known” is that qualified, quantifiable, corralled body of predictability that becomes stagnant and spoils; like the manna hoarded by the Israelites on that great forty-year adventure. Leaving the tamed with the timid, we must press forward to undis-covered joys and unrealized experiences on this adventurous quest; a quest of mission, which is our missio Dei.
What adventure lights a fire inside your spirit? Dream a little. Want to tutor some poor kids? Does mentoring men to be great men of The God Adventure and great husbands inspire you? How about joining a skydiving team to share life and Jesus’ love of risk? Get together with a group of senior ladies; listen to their stories and wisdom while you share faith and a skein of yarn. Take some friends with you to help clean up a trashy beach. Doesn’t sound spiritual enough? This generation loves a cause and wants to believe in something greater than petty, polarizing political or spiritual tiffs. They want what they do to matter and make a difference. And, don’t we all?
The adventure begins . . . now get out there, inspire others and really live.