The Fight for Adventure

My house is not my own. It really belongs to the three cats who control the daily flow of activity. I’m simply there to make sure the water is fresh, the food is served at the exact same times each day, and the litter is regularly cleaned.

NemoOur orange tabby cat is named Nemo. I admit it – I’m his enabler. I have gotten frustrated by his desire to nibble because our other male cat will scarf down his own meal and quickly hunt for his second round at the buffet.

Therefore, I often plop Nemo down next to his cat dish at meal times in order to make sure our other male cat does not help himself to two meals. When he won’t eat, his food goes up.

Nemo is fully domesticated. However, little traces of adventure pop up, as he races to explore the garage or the back yard anytime I open either door. Once in the backyard, he has yet to try and climb the tree or jump the fence, the comforts of home are just too ideal for any real adventure.

Something is Missing

Similarly, we have become like domesticated cats. Fully domesticated, citified, and/or suburbanized, we have removed or at least attempted to remove all sense of danger, failure, and the unknown from our daily routines. Yet, we recognize that something is missing, even if we can’t quite pinpoint what that something is.

In Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men, author Stephen Mansfield puts it this way:

…I’ve lost something. I’ve become a domesticated turkey. God help me. I’ve had the risk and the daring and the need for adventure squeezed out of me by duty and the ease of modern life. I don’t plan to stay this way.

In his classic book Wild at Heart, John Eldredge writes,

The most important aspects of any man’s world–his relationship with his God and with the people in his life, his calling, the spiritual battle he’ll face–everyone one of them is fraught with mystery. But that’s not a bad thing; it is a joyful, rich part of reality and essential to our soul’s thirst for adventure.

You see, we’re fighting the wrong battle. Instead of fiercely battling our own discomfort, we should be fighting for adventure.

It’s not completely our fault. Since birth, we have been told “no” more than “yes”. We have been trained to follow a well-worn, safe, and clear path that includes school, career, marriage, children, and retirement.

Fight for Adventure

rafting

Photo Courtesy: Peter Bellis (Creative Commons)

Even so, adventure is hard-wired in us, whether we recognize it or not. Adventure must be fought for. When we pursue our God-ordained adventures, we will be paddling upstream against the strong currents of culture, including many arenas of Christendom, urging us to put the oars back in the raft and drift comfortably back downstream.

One of our fights may include simply making time in our lives for pursuing the grand adventures God has instilled in each one of us. Many of us intrinsically know the adventures God has called us to, but they have laid dormant in our hearts of a number of years. Our first fight may include awakening those deadened parts of our hearts once again.

I don’t know what adventures God has placed in your heart, but I do know that they must be fought for and fought alongside a network of allies.

What adventures are you fighting for, and who are you taking into battle?

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  • http://www.fatherofone.com/ Michael Wright

    My work life is creating some major changes and challenges recently that are way beyond my control. I want more margin, more safety, more certainty, to the point I’m looking for “easy” ways to ease this discomfort. But it isn’t coming. It’s up to me…and God (if I’ll let Him come into this ordeal). The adventure is not exactly fun, but it is that indeed and looking back years from now I know I’ll be a better man for it. This is exactly the post I needed to read today. Thanks Chris.

    • http://www.trailreflections.com/ Chris Peek

      Thanks Michael. I’m always blessed to hear when a post brings much needed encouragement. I know your spirit and much of what you have been through, and your strength in times like these is evident and a testimony to your consistency and steadiness in the midst of battle. In many ways, I can relate to work struggles. You are right – it’s painful now, but your resolve will be strengthened. Keep on fighting.

  • Thomas Mason

    As you know the adventure I am facing now is looking for a new place of employment, but before I do this I need to prepare myself. I’m using most of the days in December tweaking my resume, discovering things about myself, and learning what all it takes to make that first step. I consider that an adventure in the making. All this is an adventure I cannot ignore.

    • http://www.trailreflections.com/ Chris Peek

      Thomas, it sounds like you are on the right track in terms of making the right preparations. I pray it’s a great opportunity for you to discover more about the desires and strengths God has instilled in you, and you are able to take that and find the right opportunity. You are on quite an adventure indeed, and I believe great opportunities will arise from it.

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    Chris, I love this! I think oftentimes we need to be inspired to go after our adventure – and we need to understand how adventure fits in to our everyday lives. God has made us for something great: to be his ambassadors, to be his image bearers, to assist with subduing the earth, and one day to rule with him and judge even angels. How do we get distracted by the mundane?

    • http://www.trailreflections.com/ Chris Peek

      Great thoughts, Lorin. I think we often perceive our earthly callings and adventures as something in the distance that we will eventually get to. At least that’s what we tell ourselves. In the meantime, we allow years to pass without pursuing any meaningful adventures. It seems like many people get too comfortable with living in the mundane, or as Dan Miller likes to say, “comfortable misery.”

  • http://betty-wiseheartedwomen.blogspot.com Betty Draper

    Ok, this is one to post on my fb wall…great post brother. My husband and I only wish we had one more young life to live and we would sit off on another adventure of telling those least reached people all over the world. It’s best to do it when you are young for when you are old God will ask you to draw from the adventure to encourage others to reach for the high calling of God. We have never been sorry about our journey even when the adventure wore off and hard times wore us thin, God was never thin, always full of insight, love, ready and willing to take us one more step in our journey with Him. Where ever He plants us is an adventure when we are seeking the lost and helping others for that was His adventure and we just need to enter into it. Christmas is a perfect time to be ready to give out the hope that lives within us. If we are excited about Him, others just might want what we have.

    • http://www.trailreflections.com/ Chris Peek

      Betty, thanks so much for your comments and for sharing some of your story. It sounds like you and your husband have lived quite the adventure and are still living the adventure right where you are. I believe that’s the key when you said that “He plants us in adventure when we are seeking the lost and helping others…” Even if we are not in a place in life to head around the globe, anywhere God has planted us can be an adventure if we answer the call.

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    I love the Wild at Heart book! I’ve read it a couple times. God calls us to move past our fears and toward our life purpose. I’ve found making steady progress toward our God given purpose and dreams is one of the best ways to live a life of adventure. Great post!

    • http://www.trailreflections.com/ Chris Peek

      Likewise, I’ve devoured Wild at Heart twice, and it definitely one of my favorite books. Agreed – moving toward our God-given purpose is definitely the adventure of a lifetime. There is no telling where God will take us if we jump on board.

  • http://jeremy.d.riley.com/ Jeremy Riley

    Nice examples, Chris! It really is all too easy to settle down and not fight for adventure, I find myself in that trap. Hints of adventure pop up from time to time, but overall I’d rather lounge like Nemo.

    I’m charging into parenthood, that’s all consuming right now! :)

    • http://www.trailreflections.com/ Chris Peek

      Hey Jeremy, good to hear from you. Ha ha, yep Nemo has the good life it seems.

      And I’m right there with you – charging full bore into parenthood. It’s an adventure in and of itself, but I find that I still must pursue other adventures just the same in order to stay halfway sane. :)