Adventure is costly.
In adventure, the self is both surrendered and gained. Like love.
Adventure is about intimacy. It demands vulnerability. It demands risk. There are no long-term guarantees. It would not be adventure if all was guaranteed.
There are a few things that seem necessary to have and to hold the hope of success. There must be faith—in the potential and adaptability and even limits of the human mind and body—but more so there must be faith in something beyond myself. There is a power beyond myself that inspires me, that helps me to stand time and time again, and to take another step. I can overcome challenges because God overcame far more as a man, as Jesus Christ. He overcame for a reason. He overcame to provide a promise of purpose that transcends mortality. He offers me meaning. He offers me life. I am just asked to trust his word. I am called to be courageous, to face each day with action. For without action, there can be no intimacy. Without action, there can be no adventure.
Adventure does not mean comfort, though comfort can surely be found. Those with eyes to see the glory of God will never want for deep joy and peace. Yet the surface will suffer a barrage of resistance. At times, joy will seem distant. Peace may feel illusive.
Adventure does not mean perfection. There will be failures.
But there will also be triumphs. There will be mountaintops blessing you with cleared perspective and unfathomable beauty. Would such gifts be as profoundly moving had it not been for the long road leading through and up from the valley? The road that strains the body and will, the road that empties the heart, is the same road that fills you with wonder.
Adventure is about being emptied to be filled. It goes well beyond backpacking and outdoor adventure. It takes many forms. Yet at the heart of it is the richest of lives. At the heart of it is the richest of loves.
May it be so for you.
*This is an excerpt adapted from "Feet of a Runner, Part III" (2014).