The Adventure of a Lifetime...and Beyond
Though current circumstances might change things a bit, it is typically this time of year when many people begin getting excited about a summer vacation. Whether one is a planner who meticulously plots every moment or a free spirit who goes wherever the road leads, there is a word most every vacationer wants included in their excursion: adventure! In fact, the word adventure has been commandeered by the travel sector of the economy. Whether it is a week in an amusement park, hiking in a national park, or strolling along a beach, every travel booking agency promises that adventure abounds! This is an interesting choice of words when the definition is explored: “An undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks” (mirriam-webster.com). Still, the modern usage of the term, which softens the danger and risk aspect, appeals to many and has been captured in the old adage, “It is not the destination, it’s the journey.”
Interestingly, the word adventure is rarely used in relation to Christianity; yet, it is highly appropriate in both its original and modern nuances. God has made no secret that following Him will lead to danger and risk. As Jesus delivered His Sermon on the Mount, He stated, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account” (Matthew 5:11 ESV). The lives of both ancient saints as well as those on this side of the cross testify to the veracity of His words. However, this should not be the only focus; following God is also an adventure, even when defined by modern standards.
Consider just a few people who have portions of their lives recorded in Scripture: Abraham left everything of comfort to go to an unknown land; Joseph was betrayed by family, yet became prime minister of Egypt; Ruth walked away from pagan Moab to find a home in Israel and a place in the lineage of Jesus; Esther, a poor Jewish girl, became queen of Persia; the apostles were little known men, yet took the message of Jesus to the world. In every one of these situations risk and danger were present, with all knowing their very lives might be lost. Still, they did it! For those whose commentary on their lives is recorded, regret is never expressed. The adventure of the journey with God was worth it!
The resilient Christian is an adventurer. Someone satisfied with lukewarm religion and a checkbox mentality will never stay true to the course; danger and risk will block the narrow road early in the journey. However, for the one who trusts God no matter what, the adventure of God’s plans for life will only be dwarfed by the destination; Heaven will far exceed whatever joy is experienced on the way. The resilient Christian knows that God will be there, and also knows that upon reaching Heaven, the adventure is just beginning!