The Call to Adventure

Post by Chris Hartenstein
“Every man is called, but not every man answers." ‬‬‬
 - Saint Augustine

There is a call deep within the heart of every human, and it is insatiable! Our heavenly Father calls us up because He deeply desires for us to be a part of His greater story as beloved sons and daughters to live life to the full (John 10:10). Yet, how we get there is very uncertain, unknown, uncharted, unpredictable, and we feel ill-prepared for what lies ahead. To me, that sounds a lot like an adventure. Doesn't it?! In Genesis, we see a man named Abram who heard a call to leave his home, his wealth and his father's family, and go to a country he did "not yet know." He was even called by a "voice" that was to him "unnamed." And yet he went, drawn by something the voice offered. He is named as one of the greats of our faith in Hebrews 11.

Adventure Re-Defined

The Trinity created us for adventure, and our hearts deeply long to know and experience it. They call us into adventures that have great purpose and are intricately planned and designed to deepen our relationships, strengthen our character, heal our hearts, make us whole, and grow and mature us! Our Heavenly Dad loves us where we are, but He loves us too much to leave us there. How he moves us is through adventure.  

In 2019, my son, Judah, and I, along with ten other brave souls, went on an EPIC enduro motorcycle/missions trip to South Africa. When the leader of the trip invited us to go, it felt like an incredible opportunity from my Heavenly Dad; it pulled at my heart! But as I thought about the trip, the cost, the potential hazards, the unknowns, I became unsure. I've spent a lot of my life riding motorcycles out West, but riding off-road, in another country was way beyond my comfort zone or skill. I was so focused on what the trip might be like that I lost sight of who was calling me into the adventure in the first place! That focus on the "what" made it very hard for me to hear clearly who was calling me!

For us to embrace the essence of what adventure is, we must focus first on who is calling us and then release what the adventure is to Him.  Who calls us is our most important point of clarity. I don't need to understand what the adventure is if I know clearly who is calling me.  Abram "knew not the land the Lord was calling him to, but he was clear on who was calling him. When I simply accepted the call to go on the trip, knowing I could trust my Dad's good heart and that good would come of it (Rom 8:28), I was able to say yes without any other moments of hesitation. The reality remained that I had no idea what the adventure would look like, but I was crystal clear that the invitation was from Him. I trusted that He would reveal what the purpose was behind the adventure. He certainly did along the journey while we rode on dirt roads and up mountain passes and sat around the campfire. Trust me - He spoke in crazy ways to me as His beloved son! It was an amazing trip, and my heart grew in ways that it never would had I not gone. In reality, every true adventure is an invitation from our Heavenly Dad into something greater that ultimately builds intimacy with Him, develops His character in us as image-bearers, and increases our impact on the world. 

When any of us looks at adventure through this lense, it reshapes its purpose in our lives. If He is calling you - GO! He has a plan to use the adventure for good in your life!!

Calibration:
  • Do you focus more on the “what” or the “who” when you think about adventure?  Why? 
  • What would change if you associated adventure more with who was calling you than what you were being called to?  Explain. 
  • How have you chosen to follow Him into adventure, while trusting His good heart? 

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