The Great Adventure

Have you ever thought about your relationship with Jesus as if it were a great adventure? Do you wake up in the morning so excited to serve Him that you jump out of bed, ready to go because you can’t imagine doing anything else with your day?

I’ll be honest with you; this usually doesn’t define my faith journey. Sure, I am excited to serve Him wherever I am planted, but there are many days when I wake up in the early hours with limited energy for the tasks set before me. There is one day of the week in particular that is simply draining. This day each week, although draining, is also quite rewarding, but often I am just too tired to think of the rewards that will come with that day.

I can’t remember the exact phrasing, but I read a quote awhile back that challenged me and it went something like this: “Live your life as a woman who says yes to God so that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil will say, “Oh, crap; she’s up.” Wow, if only I could wake up in the morning with such passion for the day that I could put the devil in His place right then and there. It would be like saying aloud: “Do you hear that, devil?! This day is the Lord’s and everything in it! Today I live for Him and Him only!”

Obviously, we can’t know what God has in store for each one of us each day, but that’s where living life like its an adventure comes in. I think of the mystery and surprise of each new exploration when you don’t have a set plan in front of you. Now, I’m not one for surprises; in fact, I’m not a fan of surprise parties thrown in my honor or unexpected announcements that I’ve won something. I like my world ordered and planned with no surprises.

A few years ago, I was a part of an adventure that shattered my negative view of the surprise factor. This was one surprise that excited me, and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. I was hanging out at my apartment one Saturday during my senior year of college when my sister called. She asked if I was free to take a trip with her and some of her friends. I asked where we were going and she said that they planned to drive to South Dakota to go to a catholic teachers’ convention.

“Why would we do that?” I remember asking. “We’re not Catholic or teachers.”

“Well, Ginny Owens will be there,” my sister explained. “We got permission to attend the concert even though we’re not a part of the conference. “

I thought the entire thing sounded crazy! I was excited to see Ginny Owens, a musician I looked up to, but I couldn’t believe that we were actually going to go through with this. We drove into the sunset as we made our way toward South Dakota, and little did I know it would be a night I would not soon forget.

We drove up to this retreat center and were escorted inside for dinner. We were greeted by elaborate place settings, candlelight, and a private concert by Ginny Owens. Afterward, I had the opportunity to speak with Ginny and she was sweet, genuine, and everything I expected her to be. My sister and her friends knew I would value this opportunity, but I don’t think they realized just how meaningful it was in the end.

Like I said, I don’t like surprises, but this was a night that I will remember for a long time because it reminds me of the one time in my life when I was spontaneous. We had a destination: the Catholic teachers’ convention. But other than that, there was no schedule, no plan, no structure. It was beautiful, crazy, and amazing— more than likely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I heard a Ginny Owens song on my iPod the other day and it brought me back to that night in South Dakota. I wondered why my sense of adventure was seemingly limited to that one night. So in that moment, I challenged myself to go above and beyond my well-ordered world. In my past few posts, I have talked about desiring a heart for the lost and being willing to reach out to the hurting and broken. I’ll be honest that stepping outside of my comfort zone is scary— as it is for most people. Reaching out to others is often an adventure in itself.

So now I am at a crossroads— standing in South Dakota, if you will— wondering what comes next. If I open my heart to reaching out to others, I pray that God will open wide the doors and prepare me for meaningful encounters. It may feel like a big, scary adventure to me, but the truth is, He has the road map and He knows where He’s taking me. For one who doesn’t often leave her comfort zone, this should result in welcome peace. But I’m still afraid, and I know it will take some time and prayer before I can be fully ready to jump in. I can’t wait for that morning somewhere down the road when my feet will hit the floor and the devil will realize that I’m not taking any chances. I’ll be ready for the great adventure!

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