What if your best friend called you up and told you to pack your bags for the adventure of a lifetime. All the details had already been planned out including all of your current responsibilities and commitments. All you have to do is just say yes. Would you go?
What if that best friend was God? God wants us to have that kind of relationship with us. He wants us to abide in him. And yes-that includes going on adventures. Do you think being a Christian is fun and exciting and adventurous? If not, it may be time to go on an adventure with God.
What is an adventure with God? I can tell you first hand. But first let’s understand the word adventure.
Webster Dictionary defines “adventure” as the following: “1. a) an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks. b)the encountering of risks. 2. an exciting or remarkable experience.
What feelings did that definition evoke? Exciting or even a little scary? Count me out, or count me in? Me too. But oh when we say yes! God shows us things about him and about our selves, and about the world around us that are far greater than we could even imagine.
You see, a year ago I said yes to an adventure with God. God invited me on an adventure to be a writer. In school I never minded writing assignments, and I always kept a journal of thoughts and prayers, but never dreamed of being an author. That dream was lying dormant. But over the years, a little inexplicable flame would ignite in my heart when thought formed into words on paper before my eyes. Certain words began to pierce my heart and I would find myself jotting down words, phrases, and thoughts for no understandable reason. I was just compelled to keep them close to my heart. I think the Lord had been whispering in my heart, “you will need these on your adventure.” I suppose I had been packing, because years later when God called me to say yes, and it was time to board that vessel, and all of my bags were packed and ready.
God is so personal and so creative and exciting, I’m sure the adventure process is unique to each of us too. But for me, it was gradual and then once God’s invitation burst forth, I was ready to say “yes.” But then what? God does not always provide clear instructions for his adventures. I dreamily decided that I would write a book. And maybe I will one day, but as I began to walk toward the route of published writing, God slowed me down. He completely unhurried my heart. And that’s where it got a little scary. A little risky. A little personal.
God showed me that writing for Him can look like a lot of different things. A blog, an encouraging word to a friend, prayer journaling, and just simply writing for the joy of writing. About that same time, another seed of adventure was germinating. This seed was a heart for women’s ministry and Bible study. This seed grew into an idea to write a Bible study. But this would mean putting aside my blog for a while and it would mean taking my writing time a little more seriously. A few years before, God blessed me with my dear friend Karen, who also loved to write. It became clear that God had plans for us to merge ideas and author a bible study together. As ideas became sheets of paper with printed words, and “some day” became a date on the church calendar, I came face to face with fear. I have never like speaking in front of people, in fact, I hated it. And teaching our bible study to our new women group, would require me to do just that. How did I forget that part? Anxiety crept in and whispers of doubt and insecurity began to threaten me. This was risky, perhaps a little dangerous. I had people counting on me to teach God’s Word. What if I fail? I felt incredibly vulnerable. What if my worst nightmare comes true, and I just stand there frozen before these people? All through out my childhood, teachers and adults would tell me to “speak up.” I used to hate that phrase so much, because it was scary to speak louder. What if someone tells me to speak up? What if I faint or run off the stage? I battled these fears one prayer at a time and continued to write and trust. I was compelled to keep going. God kept providing the words to write. Months passed and Karen and I kept meeting, writing, planning for our Bible study. God didn’t take away my thorn of “what ifs” that remained painfully in my side, but he provided his holy peace that covered those fears. God filled me with his peace and the calm assurance that everything would be OK. About that time, my mother spoke the affirming words that “God equips those he calls.” I held on tight to those words. He would equip me for this adventure. I held on tight to Jesus. This part of the adventure began to get a little bumpy. A bit dangerous. I held on even tighter when fear gripped me with a panic attack one night before I fell asleep. I didn’t know that was what was happening but my physical body was at war with my self battling the anxiety that was brought on by the “what ifs.” Days passed, final touches were made and the big day arrived. I would be teaching our first lesson. As women found places in their chairs in front of me, I found my place before God. Humbly leaning into Christ. Leaning in through my first spoken word, leaning in through the second spoken word…and the next. I prayerfully made it through teaching my first authored bible study lesson. Teaching that day was the hardest thing I have ever done, but the most fulfilling. I wasn’t near as nervous the next time. And since that knee knocking first day, God has taken Karen and I to a second church to teach our Bible study. We didn’t even dream of that opportunity. But that’s God, he does more than we can ever imagine or ask, when we say yes to HIM.
I thought God was calling me to safely sit at home and write a book, and maybe I will one day. But the adventure God took me on this year was to fully grasp Phillipians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (NKJV). The Message Bible says it like this, “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”
Maybe I will publish one day, but for now, I am still tackling small steps of big obedience. I am continue to learn how to trust and lean into Christ. He continues to lead me on this writing adventure illuminating one little path stone at a time. Where is God leading you? What seeds have been lying dormant that have begun to germinate? It will be an exciting and remarkable experience. I dare you to say yes to God….go on an adventure with HIM.