I thirst for adventure. I watch movies like Divergent, or read books by Ted Dekker, and when the stories are over, I am left feeling on edge, ready to do something amazingly heroic, ready to walk away with the girl.
But I have a problem with this. I don’t have many opportunities to save the world from an evil mastermind bent on world domination. I don’t have a fearless clan roaming through my neighbourhood to join forces with. So how do I satisfy this ache for adventure in my nine-to-five job that gets boring and repetitive at times?
A few years back I was especially struggling with trying to find some adventure in my “boring” life. But here’s the ironic part: I was spending a year working in garbage dumps and poor areas outside of Mexico City. I was in one of the largest cities in the world, meeting upwards of 50 new people per week, leading them into different areas throughout the city and in surrounding suburbs.
My life was saturated with excitement. I played on a soccer team and hung out with the locals. We would hit up the late night taco stands and walk through the open-air shops, bartering for a cheaper price on cheese. I rode the subway to pretty much every stop at least once that year and visited parts of the city most people (even those who live in Mexico City) didn’t even know existed. And I had opportunities to preach the gospel constantly.
But even though I got to do all of these things, I was still unsatisfied. I felt like I was lacking adventure. I was so focused on my desire for something big to happen that I missed the big things going on around me: miraculous healings, feeding hundreds of people, teaching English in the poorest of neighbourhoods.
Now, about three years after getting back from Mexico, I’m working at Elim Bible Institute and College. I get to travel, speak about the college, and plan events focused on training and equipping high school students. Though these things are a fulfillment of a dream that God gave me while in Mexico, I still find myself wishing there were more fights with bad guys, crazy high-speed car chases, and perilous rescues.
After all, isn’t that what adventure is — gun fights, harrowing escapes, and being the hero?
I’m beginning to learn that, as Jenny Acuff says, “dreaming is good, actually doing is better.” The dreams that steal your attention from the adventure in front of you will only cause you to miss out on living out the journey before you. By focusing on what I thought adventure was, I had lost the meaning of what adventure truly is.
All action/thriller/adventure movies and books have one thing in common: what’s portrayed on screen or in the pages is different than what you’re experiencing in your own life. And because it’s different from your experience, that means it’s much more exciting.
Your life is someone else’s adventure. While your job, your family, your lifestyle may seem boring to you, it could be just what someone else is looking for.
So take the time to shut off your dreams and open your eyes to see the adventure you’re currently living. If it’s not thrilling enough, do something out of the ordinary. Because your life can only be as adventurous as you make it.
Flickr photos (cc) by gabofr.