I think it is quite significant that two big-time movies helped to kick off 2013: Les Miserables (based on the classic novel by Victor Hugo), which is about living life as forgiven people who forgive others, letting go of revenge and embracing redemption, and The Hobbit (based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkein), which is about the call to an adventure ... slaying dragons in this world.
Life really is to be an adventure (just ask Bilbo Baggins) ... a journey that involves faith and risk. God calls us out of it comfort zones into a new world, walking with him in complete trust and obedience. There are dragons to slay and mountains to conquer. Off you go! The Father is calling and His Spirit is leading.
Here are a few spontaneous thoughts I wrote down in my journal earlier this week during a time of prayer ...
Mark, don't allow yourself to become too serious, where your life becomes more of a burden than a joyful adventure. Take off all of the yokes of expectations of others and of yourself that are not of me. All I call you to do is to know me ... to hear me speak and to see what I am doing ... then to minister out of that revelation. Nothing more, nothing less. Every day. Keep it simple ...
The enemy seeks to lure you away from the simplicity of your devotion to Christ. Life is simply about loving God and then loving people. That's it ... and all of this is in response to the overwhelming revelation that you are loved by God. We love him because he first loved us. He is devoted to us.Now there is an amazing truth. He pursues us ... he desires us ... he longs for us ... his creatures.
Live each day knowing you are already loved by me. There is nothing you need to do to earn or merit that love. It is a free gift that I have already given to you. Allow that love to fill you and to overwhelm you. Let it draw you ... back to me. May your love for me simply be a natural response of my love for you. Keep this as your daily focus and you will be amazed at what we do together this year.
May the life of faith be a true adventure for you this year. Listen for God's voice ... then take some steps of faith. Faith is often spelt R I S K. You have to get out on a limb if you want to find the fruit. You have to get out of the boat if you want to walk on water. You have to launch out into the deep if you want to find a big catch. Can you hear Him calling?
A Few Quotes about Adventure:
"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for." [William Shedd]
“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone ... I should think so — in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!” [J.R.R. Tolkein in The Hobbit]
“To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one's self.... And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one's self.” [Soren Kierkegaard]
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” [Helen Keller]
“I have discovered that even the mediocre can have adventures and even the fearful can achieve.” [Edmund Hilary]
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” [Ralph Waldo Emerson]
“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” [G.K. Chesterton]
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain]
“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.” [Saint Augustine of Hippo]