One Word 2014: Adventure

adventure trail by Jason Stern
The trail is hidden there to the right…
My word for 2014 is adventure. Further, God has directed our family to enjoy this adventure “living life out loud.”
An adventure is an exciting or unusual experience. It may also be a bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome.I guess I saw this coming. It was really inevitable considering the fact that I have said that I will follow Him anywhere He leads me.

It isn’t simple, by far. I have lived most of my life as a secret agent Christian. I have desired to live for the Lord and explore His truth from an early age, but as soon as I found out that enthusiasm for Christ was met with blank stares and shrugs and that having different views than anyone else was frowned on, I took my views inside my soul and pulled the curtains. We aren’t talking about a recent occurrence. I’m talking about an entire lifetime. When you are awakened to God at age four, and grow up in movement of Christianity that is out of the mainstream, you learn quickly to tell half of the story–the parts that won’t offend anyone. I’ve become a professional non-offender when it comes to taboos. I know how to “fit in” and how to “look the part.”

Pastors used to even joke about it from the pulpit. How many times did I hear the story of how a family was fighting like cats and dogs all morning getting their church clothes on and throwing all the kids in the car, spankings and crying all the way to church and then, by magic, everyone puts their game face on and enters the building as though absolute perfection was all that they’d ever known. How are you, Brother Bob? Better than I deserve, Pastor Jenkins. Blessed. God is Good! ALL the time! Haha. Yeah.

It was expected that everyone was playing that game and we all knew. We knew our homes, our church, our society was a wreck, but no one was going to do anything to change, so we might as well enjoy the gallows humor in the pews. After all, wasn’t Jesus coming back tomorrow? So as long as we could grin and bear it, we’d all be zapped out of here and the devil could have this hell-hole called earth, right?

But I guess I don’t get to do that anymore. It was a good run. We sure looked good doing it. I spent my life through early adulthood trying so hard to be the ideal Christian, and then the ideal Christian leader. And then the ideal Christian citizen. All that time, though, I knew that the “ideal” plastic person doesn’t exist. Those in my closest circle already know this path that Jesus put me on a few years ago. And though it has not been smooth all the time, I know what it is to be loved and accepted and given room to grow.

What exactly am I admitting to? What is a secret agent Christian? It’s someone who does all the right things and none of the wrong things. By what standard, you might ask? Well, that’s a good question. It depends on your age, denomination, political affiliation, skin color, the list could go on. The standards they are a-changing. Constantly.

I have sought to please God through performance most of my life and when I learned that He wasn’t asking that of me, it changed my relationship with Him forever. It meant I could read the Bible with fresh eyes, looking for His Heart, His principles, and His ways, instead of His lists and regulations.

And I’ve been writing about it for six months. I’ve written 45,000 words already, but I haven’t shared it with many. Too dangerous. It’s been a quiet revolution in my thinking, finding out what God actually says about life, but …. Adventure.

What is adventure? I was mulling the word around my brain. Thank God for the interwebs.

Adventure, as defined above, comes from a root Latin word that means “to arrive.” In the 1300s, it meant “a wonder, a miracle; accounts of marvelous things.”

I haven’t arrived yet, so I guess this year we’ll find out what wonderful, marvelous places He has for me to experience. I believe that God wants me to choose to take the adventures He presents instead of only marveling at them.

To “live life out loud” actually sounds kind of scary. I wonder if it will feel like walking a tight-rope across a gorge in front of thousands of people, or if it will feel like climbing a mountain with my eyes on Jesus walking in front of me? What will it be like to intentionally live an adventurous life?



7 thoughts on “One Word 2014: Adventure

  1. Great post, you present some really great thoughts. So true that it is far too easy to get caught up in the “fakeness” of Christianity, God has so much more for us.

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