Adventure Versus Burden

Post by Chris Hartenstien
Here we are, week three of adventuring together! We have explored the importance of who is calling us into adventure, what adventure really is, and now we want to hammer out how we enter into adventure with our heavenly Dad.

Week one, I shared with you all my struggle to let our Heavenly Dad define adventure in my life, specifically with our motorcycle trip to South Africa. I was so focused on what the adventure was that I lost track of who invited me into it in the first place. Unfortunately, I do this often. When I am invited to go somewhere, I often gravitate towards over-thinking about “what it will cost.” Whether time, money, training, pain, risk, etc, the invitation feels burdensome, becoming lists of tasks I must accomplish, things I must acquire, and time I need to allocate. It’s good for me to count the cost, but sometimes it moves from preparation and responsibility to control and doubt. When I step into God’s adventures alone or curate my own, it becomes a burden. I carry it, and I am the driver, the orchestrator; it becomes my purpose and more!

This is a struggle I see, not only in myself but also in many friends, family, and New Frontier participants. Adventure becomes dependent on us; we have to fund it, fuel it, and finish it. In reality:
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. 
So how I enter into an adventure is with Him. (Gal. 2:20) He calls us into it, He defines it, and now, He makes it happen! The best part is that our heavenly Dad is the provider, architect, builder, and orchestrator of every great adventure we take. It is then rightly, something we do with Him, not for Him. Yes, there is a cost, but He wants us to know, “I will provide everything you need.” He is always there, and we never have to go at it alone (Heb. 13:5, Deut. 31:6). Part of the purpose of adventure is to move us back to the way things were in the Garden when fierce dependence was the norm. It makes sense then that He wants to provide everything we need along the road. He is an amazing Dad.  

I love being adventurous with my kids. I don’t want them to do stuff for me, but with me. That brings the deepest satisfaction. If I love that, as a fallen, broken dad, what do you think our heavenly Dad has in store for us? I can’t imagine! It’s meant to be done together - A good Dad with His son or daughter.  

So, why do we carry the burden? Maybe it is doubt, pride, control, fear, self-preservation, personal expectations of what the adventure needs to look like. Perhaps, it’s avoiding what is hard and difficult. However, when we take the reins and carry adventure as a burden, we lose all the goodness He has for us. We lose His joy, intimacy, purpose, character, healing, maturity, and the return to who we were created to be (2 Cor. 3:18). We will find ourselves to be on a journey, but we will miss the epic adventure with our Dad. So, let’s step into adventure with our Heavenly Dad today, trusting He will provide all we need along the path!
Calibration:
  • Are the adventures in your life an invitation from your Dad or just something you are doing on your own?  What is the outcome of those adventures? Is that lasting or momentary?
  • The adventures in your life, do they feel like a burden? 
  • What makes it hard for you to give your Father control?
  • What are you missing by taking control of life’s adventures? 
  • What is one area of adventure you can give to your Dad? 
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