“Adventures? What kind of adventures?” I wasn’t sure I could name anything that would qualify.
I mean, I’ve never gone backpacking alone through Europe or hunted wild animals in the jungle. In fact, I haven’t even been out of the country since I was about four years old.
After that conversation, I took some time to look back over my life and decided to write about the thoughts that came to mind. For the sake of brevity, I suppose I should spread out my thoughts over a few posts. Today, I’ll focus on writing about the earliest adventures I can remember.
–Adventures in competing for the ninth grade track & field state championship
I was a discus thrower and very excited to be at the state track meet. The time came to warm up for the competition, and on my walk to the discus cage, I thought to raise a quick prayer. Just then, I heard a prideful voice speaking to me in my head. The voice pointed out that if God caused me to win the competition, I would be unable to boast that I was the one responsible for the victory. It was quite a dilemma for me in that moment as a fifteen year old. I had never experienced anything like it.
By the time I reached the discus cage, I had decided I wanted God’s help and that I wanted Him to receive the glory for any success that came to me. So, I asked Him to give me the best discus throw in the state, and He did! Glory to God!
–Adventures in leading someone to trust Christ for salvation
My first experiences with this came when I was a teenager. I remember once having a conversation with a woman and her daughter about the gospel of Christ. The woman said she had already accepted Christ but didn’t know if her daughter had. That struck me in an interesting way, because my own mother is actually the person who led me to Christ. The daughter said she had never prayed for salvation, so I offered to pray with her.
In my opinion, it is not normal or comfortable to talk to people about where they would spend eternity if they died today! That conversation involves a degree of fear and tension, but it’s a conversation that is part of the greatest adventure of all.
–Adventures in snow skiing
Senior year in high school, I signed up to go to Colorado for a ski trip. I had never tried skiing but decided to go for it. I wound up being a slow learner and a worse skier than the small children I saw gliding around on the mountain. Still, even though I had some very, very hard falls that week, I had no injuries and really enjoyed the trip.
I also walked away with a few ski tips that are metaphors for life in general. For example, one thing I realized is that it’s important to ski hard on nice days. That is to say, anybody who wastes a day or two of great weather might be disappointed if bad weather then prevents him from being able to hit the slopes on the last couple of days of the trip. This kind of idea, of course, is applicable to daily life as a reminder not to let oneself miss out on good opportunities!
So, writing about the adventures of my teenage years has helped me recognize a few themes – the benefit of moving past pride, the importance of forgetting fear, and the value of trying unfamiliar experiences.