Life is a busy cycle that has so many turns, peaks, and valleys. When we are kids, it is all an adventure. I remember when I was growing up in Lilburn, GA, life was an adventure. My brothers, buddies, and I spent lots of time exploring and finding ways to discover new things, try new things, and even get ourselves into trouble from time to time. We loved to jump on our bikes and ride around town or down old trails through the woods. We had creeks flowing through our neighborhoods and we would venture through there looking for craw-fish or just seeing how far we could follow a creek to see where it went. It was always an adventure for us.
Fast forward to today. We’re grown men in our 30s. Most of us are married now with families of our own. We’ve all been taken on all of our own adventures through life as we’ve grown. Many struggles and many good times. Something happens to many people however as we “grow-up” though. We lose that sense of adventure and lose that connection with who we are and getting out and exploring the world. We get bogged down into lives and careers that often times we are not happy with. Our lives become almost routine from day-to-day and in the midst of it all, we often lost something in ourselves. We think to ourselves, how did this happen? How did I get here? For some this sense of missing adventure causes to hit a point where we start looking for new avenues. We hit what some call, the mid-life crisis. We are out there looking for something, not realizing it was always there to begin with, but never stopped to pay attention because of the noise and chaos of everyday life. When we’re kids, there’s not a care in the world. Now there is our families, bills, careers, and so much more we deal with.
So what happens? All too often, we’re told we need to take a certain path in life. College, career, then family, and so on. For me, it came family, then college and career simultaneously as my wife and I married right out of high school. Lot’s of challenges for certain, but we endured and now going on 18 years strong. Many of you can relate to this, but over time, it started to feel like something was missing. Had I made the right career choices or did I go through years of schooling for the right areas of study? What is that I am missing? I didn’t know the answer to those questions. Then as I watched my kids grow I began to see there sense of adventure in them and wanting to get out an explore the world. It’s dawned on me that this is a great part of it. That sense of exploring the world around us and drawing into the beauty of God’s creation. As kids that’s what we do, but many of us lose that when we grow-up into our adult lives surrounded by the world. Our hearts get jumbled in all the chaos and business that we don’t take time to take care of it. Spiritual Battles ensue and we get lost in our small stories and forget the larger story that we are all a part of.
Our hearts need a sense of adventure. A great part of this adventure is our growing closeness with God. We also need that time out in the wilderness to draw in closer to God. Where did Jesus go often to pray? Into the wilderness and away from people. Moses encountered God in the wilderness. Out there, we can escape the chaos, take in all that is around us and just listen. Why do so you think so many of are drawn to the beach or mountains when we take vacation? There is something that restores us in those locations.
When I was in Colorado for Wild At Heart, I had an experience like I could have never imagined with God. I didn’t touch my Bible, but rather had my journal with me and just listened to God. Listened to all He wanted to reveal to me and show. I prayed often that He would open my heart to everything and as I’ve shared many times, He opened my heart like never before. I came to realize that what I was missing was the Larger Story. I was focused on the wrong things. On what I thought I was supposed to do, according to the world and not on what God was leading me to. He gave me as Solomon prayed for, a hearing heart. I was able to finally realize that it was not about my small story. The adventure lies in the God’s larger story; The Story. As John Eldredge states in his book, Epic, “There is a Story that we just can’t seem to escape. There is a Story written on the human heart.”
This accounts so much to why we get to points in our life where something may be missing. We feel this, but then we don’t know what to do with it. This is where an essential part of walking with God can really help. People that don’t do so, often search themselves for the adventure, and the enemy begins to lead them. They get led to affairs, addiction and idolizing things that don’t matter, they get to that mid-life crisis.
There is no mid-life crisis, however, if you seek God’s intimate counsel and walk with Him. If you follow His lead, and really open your heart to hear Him, you’ll be amazed at what He will reveal to you. Ask Jesus to come in. Invite Him into your heart and to search you, as I was taught to do and just listen. Be still and listen. He will show you who you are and will show you the adventure that you are meant to go on. He will lead you to adventure and risk that will often times take you out of what you know, out of your comfort zone. Let me tell you, God is taking me on an adventure I never thought I would take. It’s so different from anything I knew, but you know what, He has been prompting my heart on this for years, but I never listened to Him and was never willing to make any risky moves that might take me out of the security this world has me in.
God created everything, including adventure. The adventure of our story lies in His Story. It depends on our willingness to follow and be risky. Remember those times as a kid, where you just didn’t care and you were all about getting out and explore all you could. You can get all of that back again, shedding the old man, and our self-reliant, compromising, and capitulating. Seek God. Walk with Him and hear all He wants to reveal to you. You’ll be so amazed. It’s not without risk and often times, it won’t be without pain and it will force you to seek healing from your wounds and sin to walk closer to God, but Jesus overcame all, so that we could be free and be made new to seek all God has for us from this life and then into eternity. There is still an adventure to live.