at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

The Journey of Life: The Greatest Adventure

Last year in my women’s bible study, we did an in-depth study of the book of Luke.  I absolutely loved it and felt very challenged by the teachings of Jesus.  I touched on this a bit in my post on Discipleship, but I really felt God challenging me to understand and take to heart the true cost of following Jesus: he demands our very life.

“Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” – Luke 9: 23-24

“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:33

That sounds a little extreme, and it sounds a little bit (okay, a lot a bit) scary.  I wanted to follow God, but this meant giving up literally everything—all my own plans and ambitions—and being willing to follow Him wherever he would lead me in life.  I have a bit of a fear of the unknown, and if I gave my all to Jesus, I just didn’t know what he would call me to do.  I know God often calls us to do difficult things, and I was afraid of what He might ask of me.

Of course, I realized that this was an irrational fear.  For starters, whatever “control” I thought I had over my life, was an illusion anyways.  Plus, we know that God is good, that He loves us, and that he works all things for the good of those who love Him.  There is absolutely no reason not to trust him to direct our lives. And, what God promises to give us in exchange is SO much more than what we are giving up.

“’I tell you the truth,’ Jesus said to them, ‘no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.’” – Luke 18:29-30

Still, I could not quite shake that uneasiness and the part of me that wanted to hold back.

I was standing in my kitchen one day trying to wrap my mind and my heart around this and figure out what I needed to do to get rid of my fear of uncertainty, to trust God and give myself completely over to him, when suddenly, dawned on me: living life God’s way is like an adventure!  

Oddly enough, in my bible study a couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to The Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson, which instantly struck a chord.  Read what he says:

"A part of us feels as if something is spiritually wrong with us when we experience circumstantial uncertainty. But that is precisely what Jesus promised us when we are born of the Spirit and start following Him. Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: adventure.

I think we could actually see Canada in the distance...
I love adventures – you never know what you’re going to come across, but there’s an excitement in the unknown, rather than a fear.  Sure, there are scary moments and hard challenges, but it’s all a part of the journey.  I think back to our trip a couple of years ago to Isle Royale.  Backpacking is a great adventure, and a challenge all in itself.  Like any other backpacking trip, this one was not without its moments of misery.  Namely the vast swarms of mosquitoes that engulfed our camp the second night and the giant hill (mountain) we had to climb to get to the top of the ridge on the 4th day.  There were at least five times on the way up that hill that I thought to myself, “surely, we must be near the top,” yet it was still farther.  Though I thought I might die on the way up (okay, a bit of a hyperbole, but not much!), once we were at the top, the view was magnificent!  It was totally worth the climb.

I imagine God saying this to me as he invites me
to take part in life his way -- living life to the full!
Think of The Hobbit or any other adventure story.  There are always obstacles, challenges and adversities.  Without these elements, it wouldn’t be much of an adventure.  Every good story has some sort of conflict.  The hard parts are what make the story worthwhile, and, perhaps, so it is with the stories of our own lives.  The challenges we overcome can also be the greatest victories and the most important formative moments of our lives.

This is why James tells us: 

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4

When I look at living for Christ as an adventure, it makes me feel energized and excited to find out where God is going to bring me next.  Instead of fear, I have a sense of anticipation, eagerly waiting to see the work that God is going to do and to see where this journey I call life will take me – knowing that it may be hard, it may not always be fun, but it will all be worth it!  Bring on the adventure!

Postblog:The words from this song by Fireflight just keep striking me as I think about this great adventure we call life.  Have a listen!

“The pressure makes us stronger; the struggle makes us hunger. The hard lessons make the difference, and the difference makes it worth it.”

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!