Life is an adventure.
You’ve heard that from many people, that there are segments when life seems more like a lackluster march than a stroll down an exciting path. But in those times when you actually step into what the Lord Jesus Christ made you and onto the path He set before you, well, the joy is deep and the adventure real. Sometimes the results are unexpected and funny, sometimes, just rich. For me, they have always been memorable.
We had driven from Northern to Southern California for my brother’s wedding. In the back of the car were two of my brother’s favorite pies–lemon meringue—for the rehearsal dinner. The weather was beautiful and the trip went by quickly. We were looking forward to meeting our future sister’s-in-law family for the first time.
After greeting everyone upon arriving, we went back outside with my brother, Gary, to unload. Talking a mile a minute, we opened the trunk of the car. For a moment there was silence. What had started out as beautiful pies were now lemon pies with little meringue doilies on top. We could hardly stop laughing. Later when we cut the pies we all started laughing again and offered Gary the meringue from each of our pieces so he would have enough to cover his slice. In fact, we laughed about that for many years.
Situations like that give fond memories and nurture your heart and your family’s relationships. “Remember when…” and the story fills the room with loving connection. My husband and I both came from families that laughed easily and we continued that in our own relationship. It is a habit that grew us closer and brings joy in less than perfect situations. It also allows the Lord to show us His presence more quickly in challenging situations and at trying times.
Another “adventure” we often remember is a backpacking trip. We had packed a mile and a half into a wilderness area in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains and were looking for an area to set up camp. A little meadow off to the side of a larger valley was surrounded by pines and looked perfect for our home away from home, so we settled in. The light of the day eventually slipped away and the evening stars promised a good night’s sleep. Just before our dreams hit, we heard noises that sounded like pots clanging against each other way off in the distance. Only wild noises, we thought. What could possibly upset our beautiful surrounding?
Unfortunately, the noises turned horrendous as they moved closer and closer. When they were so loud we could hardly think, we looked out of our tent to find a herd of cattle encircling us – looking puzzled. They walked back and forth, clanging and mooing, all night, with frequent stops to stand and stare at us. Alas, we had chosen their sleeping meadow as ours and they wouldn’t rest until we were out of there.
We found a new spot the next day.
The Greatest Adventure
If life is an adventure, then Christianity is the greatest journey. The stakes and rewards are both high and eternal, and our Companion on the voyage is God Himself. We do not have to walk around with long faces or beaten-down hearts. The Lord has provided us with enough joy, blessing and purpose to make living exciting.
What is this adventure and how do we do it?
The adventure of life holds the same basics for all Christians, living this life according to Scripture and conforming to the image of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. But that will vary according to what God has for you to do and learn during any one season. It will also differ according to the corporate situation within which God has you involved, and the individual gifts and talents He placed into you. For example, a soldier often experiences activities which are unlike those of a pastor, scientist or diplomat.
Some questions that help us walk this adventure are:
- What tasks has the Lord given you, large and small?
- What guidance and wisdom has the Lord given for your tasks?
- What lessons do you need to learn to walk joyfully and maturely in the journey Jesus Christ has given you?
- What has the Lord instructed and comforted you with in your daily devotions for accomplishing the parts of your path before you today?
These questions can help keep us on track in individual and group adventures. Writing down the answers and journaling our inner thoughts and progress can enable us to look back when we falter and regain our direction, strength and joy.
Examples from Bible Characters
Through the years, I have gained tremendous help from studying individuals in the Bible. They faced all of the situations and emotions we face, even though they lived in a different era. The Lord can speak to you through their stories – just make them part of your daily meditations.
If you are:
- a parent, look at Samson’s parents (Judges 13:2-25), and Joseph and Mary.
- a ruler, look at Joseph, David and Solomon;
- a soldier, look at Joshua, Deborah (Judges 4 & 5) and David;
- a builder, look at Ezra and Nehemiah;
- a prisoner, look at Joseph, Daniel, Peter and Paul;
- a judge, look at Moses and Solomon and the book of Proverbs.
There are many life stories in the Bible so we might use them as lights along our path. From them we learn wisdom, understanding, compassion, maturity and a lot more. Most of all, we learn about our wonderful God and Lord and all He can and will do for those who follow Him.
Yes, life is an adventure. Some times are challenging and others fun. But, I’ve found that those living for Jesus Christ are not so much walking their own paths, but the paths of the Lord, living the adventure of the children of God in Jesus Christ. In fact, the perfect example of living God’s adventure is Jesus. When you question what choice to make, look at His life. He lived it positively and compassionately, purposefully and effectively. He dealt with all the emotions and temptations we deal with. He had the answers then, and has the answers for you now as you live His adventure and walk His path. Just ask Him. The Adventure still lives.
Cheryl Pfingsten is a freelance writer living in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Copyright 2008 Cheryl Pfingsten. Used with permission. All rights reserved.