Every man’s your heart longs for adventure? For each of us it looks different; a quiet afternoon with a fishing rod, Extreme white water rafting, starting a business. It may be a trip, either alone to commune with God or a grand trip with the family. These are great, enjoyable and good for our heart. But perhaps there is more to this…
If we look at stories in the Bible we truly see adventure on a Godly scale. To Abraham (who was no young man at the time), God said, “Leave your family and home, follow me to strange land you have never seen and from which you will never return”. With Joseph, God weaves a story of sequential tragedies and triumphs that include near death, being sold into slavery, jail and eventual victory. With Israel’s entire army trembling in fear, young David walks onto the battlefield and slays a giant with a single stone and slingshot. The rest of his life is filled with of war and triumph and tragedy and kingship, ups and downs. Paul goes from “persecutor of Christians” to the “Apostle to the Gentiles”. His ministry reads like an over-the-top adventure action movie- arrest, prison, miraculous escapes, shipwrecks. It’s a non-stop series of narrow escapes. This is high adventure!! And it is all in the pursuit of God.
Now consider your own story: Have you ever faced great risk or experienced significant danger and pressed on through the ordeal? Yes, some of these things we would never repeat, and some we long to try again… but the point is this… the experience is indelibly burned in your memory?
And, have you every dreamed to do something big, to overcome some great obstacle, perhaps a dream of your youth? Now, this isn’t about extreme sports or abandoning our lives and families on some self-centered endeavor. Taking on a personal challenge can be a good thing, but in the end, it is a small thing. Is there a deep longing desire- even if poorly defined, to take on great challenges and to win great achievements?
If you search deep enough, the answer to this question is always “Yes”. All men desire adventure. We do. We desire adventure because God has written it into our hearts. It is part of God’s heart. But God’s idea for adventure is a bit bigger than our own, but that is why the dreams that involve risk and courage and saving the day and triumph against huge odds move us so much. Even failure, when experienced in a great adventure fires our souls, tempers our resolve and makes us stronger.
Have we let those dreams go because they involve unacceptable risk at this point in our life? Have we spent our years constructing a safe and secure, nice little comfort zone? And now, deep in our hearts, do we hate it even as we are loathe to admit it might be true?
Abraham, Joseph, David and Paul chose to live into God’s idea of adventure. They were men of faith, obedience to God, and prayer. Following God involved real and ever-present danger. They didn’t say, “Gee, this is too risky for this time in my life” or “Hey, I’m a good guy” or, “That’s great for someone else, but I have too much at stake”. No, They risked everything for one thing- the heart of God.
Make no mistake, adventure is all about risk; but it has nothing to do with the sport-du-jour. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, more dangerous than saying “Yes” to God. And there is nothing more central to our hearts. Walking with God into our hearts, our wounds and our calling is every bit the adventure as climbing Mount Everest. Braving the opposition we will encounter as we move forth in our world with hearts free and alive- that definitely involves risk. Backpacking, fly fishing, trips to Disney or quiet moments with a sunset are all good things and nourishing to us. But the adventure we thirst for is much more than that...