I am thirsty for an adventure.
It's something that comes up in my life over and over again, and I'm notorious for just letting the moment (the long, agonizing, sometimes weeks-long moment) pass, but I have such grand imagination for adventure. I can picture myself doing all of these awesome, incredible, indescribable things that I would love to do just for the thrill of being out there, doing them.
The adventure doesn't have to be outrageous, though a few of those are definitely on my list. I'd love to go ziplining through some natural expanse - the mountains, the woods, something. (There is a zipline in downtown Indianapolis for the next ten days, but I will not be taking that one in. I want to set my feet on solid ground, not spend 20 minutes climbing an artificial tower for 15 seconds of heart-stopping thrill. It's just not as...adventuresome or dare I say? romantic...as I dream my adventures should be.)
Break: Ok, I said romantic. And I meant it. There's something romantic in adventure, at least in the way I ideate it. Something about the way these moments bring us closer to God and closer to ourselves. They are just...intimate. Enhanced by the way they defy words. You can never tell anyone in enough detail what your adventure has been like to make them understand and know it for themselves. It's highly personal, completely intimate, and it's something I believe God calls on in each one of us to get us to open up, to embrace some bigger story, and to just be.
There's nothing else to do on a real adventure than just be. Just be where you are. Who you are. Fully in yourself but completely lost outside of yourself at the same time. Wholly present to the moment and the circumstance. Because it's adventure. That's what it's like.
There are other adventures in my fantasties. Ziplining, as I mentioned, is one of them. But riding a horse. Rafting on a river (an opportunity I once passed up for the chance to sit in, admittedly, a really upscale movie theater and watch a terrible movie on a hot day). Riding a boat. Or something more simple like hiking through the mountains, climbing a rock, climbing a tree (which I haven't done since I was a kid, but fondly miss). Just the chance to get out and do something.
Then, inevitably, I get UP and do dishes with the longing for adventure still in my heart.
You always see these people that thrive on adrenaline. Adventure isn't about that for me. It's quite the opposite. It's a chance to harness my energy and have less of it. A way to still myself. A way to escape the pressures of paradigms and preconceived notions and the stresses of just living day to day. An invitation to a new viewpoint, an eye-opening experience that lets you see something in a new way and then you realize you see everything in a new way. It really is that romantic thing for me.
And it's more than that.
The more I taste an adventure, especially when I can talk myself into letting it so close that it's almost tangible, the more I realize the power of shadows in my life. The way I have lived in bondage for too long to things that never should have defined me but often did anyway. Adventure...it's like cutting that final cord. That last little bit of everything that keeps you chained to something you never wanted to partner with. That last string that you're holding onto to hold yourself back. Adventure requires that you let go.
And as God has worked so incredibly in my life, He has invited me to greater adventure. I believe for this very reason. Because He knows I need it to let go. A dramatic statement of saying I'm tasting the life, Lord, and I'm loving it. And I don't need anything else.
Then we fall in love all over again overlooking a sharp cliff before He spreads my wings like an eagle's and I soar. I just soar.
If we're being honest, the love itself is an adventure. It is that same invitation to empty myself, to be passionately involved in something incredible, fully present and fully outside of myself all at the same time, deeply in love and trusting something bigger than myself because I am surrounded by it. SURROUNDED by it. Surrounded by Him.
If we're being honest, the love adventure is fantastic. It doesn't need anything else to get my heart racing and my breath steady and my life buzzing.
But what kind of action movie would that be?
You know, I think we grow up with a set of beliefs about ourselves and our world that may not fit with reality. I've always avoided certain things because my mom was afraid of them or my dad didn't like them or for whatever reason, but I've recently found that maybe I'm not afraid of them. Maybe that's just a thought that got planted in my head one day, and I never questioned it. And I can't let the unquestioned fear define my life. In the same way, I think we get locked into feeling like we have to be who people have always thought we are, who they told us we are our should be, or who we have convinced ourselves we are. But those aren't necessarily true definitions, either. So an adventure is a chance to do something radical that maybe even I wouldn't expect myself to do. Because I refuse to live a prisoner to the shadows, to inadequate answers, to stereotypes or misguided definitions. Sometimes, I say "I'm not" and then catch myself because maybe I am. Maybe..I just never was, but that doesn't mean it isn't in me. Adventure is a chance to touch that.
How about you? What adventures do you dream of taking? How do you set yourself free to embrace the fullness of your life and of God's presence?