“Adventure must mean going to Africa, or Haiti, hanging out with the homeless and giving away my stuff right? While I still dream of visiting those places I had this nagging feeling that my adventure was going to look a little different.”
My 3-year old son has taught me many things, mostly about myself and my lack of patience. This summer the kid went to Vacation Bible School for the first time. I was excited for quiet work time. Having the kid learn about God was secondary to me getting things done–two and half blessed hours of quiet for four days. This girl had a to-do list to complete so I could follow my dreams. Hint, I might have some control issues.
The kid came back from VBS talking about Adventure God and reminded me of a bigger perspective than my agenda. Adventure God LOVES adventure (obviously!). In a humble mom moment involving frustration at a 3-year old because he wasn’t focusing (as if 3 year olds are renowned for their attention span) he also reminded me that Adventure God doesn’t like yelling and being mean and that I needed to apologize to Adventure God for yelling. “Adventure God forgives you mom,” he says.
As the kid kept telling me about Adventure God, I began to realize how my individual pursuits and control issues have kept me from a life of adventure. I have had this dream to start my own non-profit and work to prevent human trafficking and exploitation for so many years I almost thought it would never happen. God always seemed to be saying “not yet”. Then we moved to the suburbs and God was still telling me to wait. I found myself getting distracted by silly stuff in the grand scheme of life: kids, houses, cars, trips and “keeping up”.
I started to become annoyed with God because things weren’t happening the way I thought they would. And to be honest, the suburbs depressed me. The burbs seemed to be all about stuff, play dates and monotony. I was desperate for impact (aka doing things that mattered more). In my quest for impact and fulfilling MY vision, I lost sight of the great adventures I could have when I let go of how I thought things SHOULD look. Adventure must mean going to Africa, or Haiti, hanging out with the homeless and giving away my stuff right? While I still dream of visiting those places I had this nagging feeling that my adventure was going to look a little different.
Impact only equates to an adventure when you let go of what this world thinks you should do, or how it should look. Creating a life of impact will equal a great adventure when you let go of the “right” vision. Adventure God sees it all, and it doesn’t always look like what we think it should.
Adventure God used the kid to help teach patience and letting go of perceived control. When you try to take control of your destiny it isn’t an adventure, your destiny becomes a series of tasks and things to do to achieve goals. Control becomes about YOU. When you give control back to God life becomes an adventure because it isn’t about you so much anymore. I would much rather be on an adventure than project-manage God and force the impact I want. Giving up control allows you meet Adventure God, and allows Him to create the impact.
Well, the next stage of my adventure has finally begun and I am so excited to start this journey. My secret BFF Jen Hatmaker recently did an interview with Focus on the Family about how to savor the moment. In it she says, “When God is ready for you and when He has developed you into that person who is ready for the next stage… He will see it through.” So savor this season, she says. Log your days.
Easier said than done for me, but Adventure God had to prepare me for the adventure. My struggles with motherhood, the suburbs and perceived lack of impact in this stage have helped to inspire this blog and the vision I have to create a non-profit focusing on coffee, community and creating impact. Teaser, more to come!
But this is more than a blog. Blogs are a one-way conversation between blogger and reader. I want to start a two-way conversation about how we can be intentional with our resources and create a life of adventure and impact whether you are a stay at home mom, work full-time, are in school, live in the suburbs, or the city. I am passionate about helping people see the big picture that we are here for more than houses and cars, and how we live our life and spend our money affects others. By being intentional with our time and resources we will find purpose and impact.
The Local Mission is a place to learn and experiment with a life of impact wherever you are. If you care about human rights want to find impact and adventure right where you are now then join me as we learn together. I will discuss how we can be ethical consumers and prevent injustice and exploitation by creating conscious consumers, and strong, engaged communities that work together to value all life.
Let’s go on an adventure that seeks ordinary and radical ways to impact our world and create an exciting adventure out of this life!
“The hardest steps are the first ones. As we begin to move, we find community. If you want to be courageous, you hang out with courageous people… We need to do something concrete. We need to take a step that gets us out of that.” Shane Claiborn in an interview with The SOLD Project.