1) a>an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks
b> the encountering of risks
2) an exciting or remarkable experience
I think I may have mentioned before that a word friends often use to describe me is “brave”. I have shared with some that I do not understand this assessment of my life, because if I’m being honest, I feel far less than brave. I have not taken risks in my life, at least by my own measure.
I look at the stories others have lived and feel small, afraid, weak. I can hardly get through a chapter of “Kisses from Katie” in one sitting because I long for adventure like the one she is living. I long to adopt, to change lives, to be uncomfortable…but comfortably uncomfortable. Is that a thing?
I meet people who live with passion that could shake the earth and move mountains, and I wonder what I missed.
But, as I’ve been reflecting on all of this the past month or so, I’m discovering something fascinating. Adventure is far less about what and where you do what you do. Being brave is much less about grand gestures.
Confession time. I’ve been an online dater (and for several reasons, I have not found it enjoyable.) I found many profiles stating that they want a woman who is adventurous. I’ve always been baffled by this. Adventure is so broad. Of course, most of the time, this quality requirement is paired with a picture of the guy hanging upside down from a cliff, but nonetheless, I wonder what they really are searching for. After all, there will come a day when your body will no longer allow you to hang from a cliff. Is adventure over at that point?
Some of the bravest people I know would never hang from a cliff or swim with sharks. But, everyday, they wake up and step back into the heartache of foster care and adoption. They step into the mess of helping hospice patients face the end of their days with dignity. They continue to put their hearts to melodies for the world to scrutinize. These brave ones may never have their own reality show or write a novel based on their grand gestures, but they are brave. They are adventurers.
Adventure is not an event. It is an attitude. It is showing up every day, watching for and entering into the risks of relationships, of unknowns. It is giving away your last $20 to someone when you aren’t sure where the next $20 will come from. It is loving your family member that doesn’t know how to receive love. Adventure is asking for help again when the last 10 times you have been burned. Being brave is holding on to the vision that The Holy Spirit has delivered to you even when the voices of logic say it’s crazy…or reckless. Adventure is stepping into difficult things. But, here’s the thing, I want my adventures to be for more than an adrenaline rush.
So yes, maybe my dating profile should also read “searching for an adventurer”. But let me clarify… I want adventures beyond scaling Mt. Everest. I want adventures that move Mt. Everest. I want adventures that reach eternity.