A recent WiRE asked, “What is adventure?” It said we should maybe re-consider the standard answer of exciting activities, X-treme sports, outdoor past-times, and wild vacations, and instead think of
- confessing to our Christian brothers (or sisters) something embarrassing to our pride
- risking a friendship by engaging in a tough conversation
- taking a risk with careers or finances
- serving others in a way that makes us uncomfortable
“…Aren’t these things more likely the adventures for which God designed us? … we tend to view them as unwanted interruptions, unpleasant hindrances, unnecessary risks to the safe lives we’ve worked hard to create.
“Ask yourself: might these have been intentionally placed in my way by a loving Father God?”
Unwanted interruptions, unpleasant hindrances, unnecessary risks… I started thinking about these things. Why do I find anything to be undesirable? And it occurred to me that sometimes it was because I always want to know how my actions turn out. How I affect others. I want to know the ending. I wanna watch. In that sense, I’m being me-centric, not God-focused.
God knows all. It’s God’s plan, operated through each of us acting as His hands, feet, and voice. We spin through our orbits and touch many others’ lives briefly, but in those moments can be the small steps of God’s work in another life. Only, we’re not meant to know how. But oh, how I want to see and know how I’m doing God’s work.
This attitude is strong, I think, because of this modern world’s movie mindset, TV tendencies, and watching ways. More than ever before in history, we’re an audience, viewing the whole world revolving around us. We see life unfold on the news, live complete experiences with heroes and everyday people in 2-hour segments in theaters, and get the whole scoop (usually unasked for) on almost anyone’s life via social media. Little is left to the imagination anymore.
I’m so wrapped up in my plans that I fail to reach out – fail to notice even – and take the small opportunities to give and serve when I run face-first right into them. Until recently. The most common example perhaps is focused on simple things, like helping a stranger out with a couple of bucks. The other night at our Worcester Celebrate Recovery a guy came in asking for help getting to Boston. The bus was like $10. A few gave him a couple of dollars, and I (for once) had cash in my wallet. I was moved to contribute a ten. Usually, I’d’ve been hesitant.
I’ll never know how that man made out, but today I’m ok with that. It was a learning moment. It doesn’t have to be money – sometimes maybe it shouldn’t be just cash, but something a little more risky. Even just a smile or a kind word as I pass someone on the street. Taking a risk to get involved in a brother’s life – because maybe God is giving me the chance to. Maybe He needs me to. I don’t need to know how it all turns out. I can hope and pray for the best. I just trust and believe in God, and that this is how He works.