There’s something about the word “adventure” that has transformative powers. You could be lost in the woods at night and terrified at every unidentified noise, but, if you call it an adventure, suddenly it is the stuff memories are made of.
It’s amazing the difference a little perspective makes when evaluating situations. And the wonderful thing is that we have control over our perspectives. We cannot control many events of our lives, but we can control how we view things.
The Biblical Perspective
For example, James tells us to “count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4). This is all about perspective. He isn’t really telling us to enjoy the suffering and trials we will be experiencing in life. Rather, he is telling us to see the bigger picture of what is happening.
Related Post: The Bigger Picture
When we view our lives as a great adventure that has purpose, we prepare our minds to accept challenges and setbacks. What adventure doesn’t include this? Samwise Gamgee makes this same connection as he tries to encourage Frodo. Exhausted without much hope for success, Frodo is beginning to give up. Samwise says, “It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.” He goes on to comment that maybe one day others will want to hear the story of their adventure.
The Adventure of Faith
I don’t know about you, but I want my life to be a story worth telling. And I know this means that my focus cannot be arriving at death safely. Instead, following the examples of men and women of faith from Abraham to the martyrs, I must choose to see the bigger, more glorious picture of my purpose here on Earth. I want to invest my hope in my eternal home and view this place as my place of sojourning. As Samwise observes “Even darkness must pass.” We don’t tolerate the darkness because it wins; we tolerate it because its days are numbered.
This perspective empowers us to live lives of faith and hope. It makes us willing to take risks on God’s behalf so that those watching will see Him at work and those whose lives are touched will know whom to thank. Henri Nouwen says it well, “Your life is not going to be easy, and it should not be easy. It ought to be hard. It ought to be radical; it ought to be restless; it ought to lead you to places you’d rather not go.”