Anatomy of an Adventure


Our culture teaches that ascension brings life. Our King, Jesus Christ, teaches the opposite.

. . . unless a grain of wheat falls . . . and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit—John 12:24

When men head off toward something in the distance, toward something good and worthy—but also into unknown obstacles, detours, deprivations, dangers—those are called adventures. We tend to think of them as journeys of ascent, like climbing to a summit. But are they really? Aren’t adventures actually journeys of descent? And, actually, doesn’t therein lay their power?

Our culture teaches that ascending brings us life: ascending in school; our careers; our social standing; in the sizes of our houses and our bank accounts. Our King, Jesus Christ, teaches the opposite. He teaches that we come alive, instead, by descending. And he teaches that we come alive by listening to God, trusting God, and relying on God.

That’s why adventures are so important. On them, we descend voluntarily. We forgo “comfortable” and “secure.” We welcome discomfort and danger. We relinquish control—all toward a far off, good and worthy goal. We put ourselves, quite literally, in the hands of God. On adventures, we allow him to teach and shape us, awaken and recharge us.

Jesus’ road to the cross was the ultimate adventure. He set upon something of immeasurable goodness and worth. He faced obstacles, detours, deprivations, dangers. He descended . . . but he didn’t do it so we wouldn’t have to. He descended to show us how. “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39).

Okay, so what do we do?

Adventures are all around—great opportunities to descend into situations that’ll make you apprehensive, that’ll make your heart pound even: walking beside someone who isn’t at all like you, but needs your help nonetheless; confessing to brothers that thing you’ve never confessed to anyone; giving monetarily, until it hurts. Take some time, today—notice the adventures around you. Then, pick one and go.


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