Sunday, January 15, 2012

Adventure awaits?

photo source via Pinterest
I love how God can work through any medium.  I also love how He brings things full-circle.  Things that I've pondered in my heart, but didn't really know what to do with, He brings back up and shows me more. He shows me why He planted them there.  Or, perhaps He doesn't explain, but He gives me another illustration, and that which has laid dormant is now alive again.

And all this writing is pouring forth because we went to see We Bought a Zoo.  Yep, never thought God would speak through this one.

During Christmas I read something or I heard something that focused on how Mary went to the inn and the door to that space was closed.  And yet, it didn't mean that Mary wasn't supposed to have the baby.  She didn't look at the closed venue, throw her hands up to God, and say, "Clearly, You are telling me I'm not supposed to have this baby."  The closed door didn't equal don't' give up.

In We Bought a Zoo, (SPOILER ALERT), it's opening day for the zoo and there is no one lined up at the gate.  The son screams, "Something has to be wrong!"  He takes off running and they discover that a tree had fallen into the road, prohibiting people from passing through.  As far as the eye can see, cars and people are lined up, ready and willing to venture into this new space in the community.  The Mees and the zookeepers can't move the trees, so instead, they help people through the trees so they can get to the zoo.

Benjamin Mees could have looked at the fallen trees as a closed door, a sure sign that this zoo wasn't meant to be.  He could have said, "Sorry folks, we can't open the doors because there is a tree blocking your cars."

He could have missed the best grand opening of his life.

Mary could have complained about her surroundings and missed the bundled joy.

Sometimes I get so focused on things going right that the slightest veer from my intended path starts me questioning if I should have gotten on the road to begin with.

I dare to say that I don't think this is how God wants us to live.  I'm actually kinda starting to think that God wants us to be a bit...adventurous.  Scary thought for the likes of this girl.

And yet.  When we are called to overcome odds, God gets glorified.  When projects seem insurmountable, God helps us to overcome.  When the only way through seems a bit unconventional, it means God is so incredibly creative.

Obstacles don't necessarily mean we aren't doing what God wants us to do.  Obstacles can mean that we fulfill our destiny as overcomers.  Sure, when the doors keep closing, God could be giving a sign that this is not the way to walk.  For me, though, I am realizing that just because it gets hard, it doesn't mean that God doesn't want me to keep persevering.  I'm realizing that life really is an adventure.  When we get on the ride, we can be in for the thrill of a lifetime.  But we have to get on.

My oldest daughter has this streak of adventure.  She oftentimes looks forward to the unknown, to the thrilling.  She might be a little scared, a little anxious, but she doesn't want to miss out on the fun.  Here she is on the back of her grandfather's motorcycle:
I want to be on my Father's ride.  And when He pauses, I want to be ready to go again with this type of enthusiasm.  I want to be ready for adventure, tucked behind my Father, who is steering the ride, even if I am unsure of where I am going.  Even if there will be some bumps in the road.

Linking with some beautiful ladies, whom I grow to love more and more each week:  Michelle @ GracefulShanda @ Pause on the PathLaura @ The Wellspring, and Jennifer @ Getting Down with Jesus)


  1. needed to hear these encouraging words today. really. love you and can't wait to see you in october!!!!! (told the husband today. made it real.)

  2. Your words today are encouraging and inspiring; wonderful words to ponder as I start a new week....

    I too loved the movie and I was thinking some of the same thoughts along the lines of perserverance in our spiritual walks...Sometimes, it's hard to get on the back of a motorcycle with Jesus but when we do oh the ride.....

  3. Such truth in these words Jennifer and I've certainly walked thru some giant obstacles these past months. But, oh, what HE has taught me and I praise Him for that. Certainly the ride with Him is a huge adventure and one I wouldn't want to miss. Happy week dearie!

  4. Yes, Ma'am! It's easy to say that opportunities come with obstacles, but then to find the strength and will to give them the heave-ho..well, that can be another matter. The difference between theory and practice. Gotta love it.

  5. Adventure! We were just talking about this last night during our first mission trip team's meeting. We have about 16 people from our church going to Ecuador (my homeland) in June and many of them have never even been out of the country. Our leader was talking about exactly this: the adventure that is your journey with God sometimes takes you to places where you are totally out of your comfort zone, like a foreign country.

  6. Okay, now I'm going to have to re-think the obstacles that have discouraged me.
    Maybe I will be ready for adventure today!
    Thanks, Jen :)

  7. So...this morning he spoke thru a blog!! He truly is in all, thru all and around all...he is with us at ALL times!! Thanks for being a messenger..unknown perhaps to yourself at that moment!! :-)

  8. Me too!!!!! He is the best ride this girl could take! Our Jesus? He's not boring that is for sure!

  9. I've heard good things about that movie, and I appreciate what you shared from it here. I'm going to mulling this idea of closed doors and obstacles. Discernment about these kinds of things doesn't come easily. I guess that's why we need to cling closely to Christ.

  10. wow Jen these are really great thoughts and examples. I hadn't thought of Mary and when she faced a closed door before. mmmm. I know too often I rush through discernment and have felt God telling me to slow down and listen more when facing an obstacle. But you are right that still may be mean going forward. will ponder this. I think this is one post I will copy and put in my journal for further prayer. Thank you for your words!

  11. oh, how i like to stay "safe!" you challenge me to adventure. and trust. "i want to be on my Father's side." yes, that's where i always want to be, too. sometimes it's hard to stay there, tho.
    good words this day.

  12. I think He wants us to adventurous, too! And that scares me a little :)

    This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What next, Papa?" Romans 8:15 MSG

    Beautiful post, Jen!

  13. I want to be on my Father's ride too, Jen. Sounds like God continues to call us both out to be more adventurous. It's not my personality by nature, but He calls us beyond our nature. Through His Spirit, we may have some interesting adventures ahead. :-)

  14. Yes, he wants us to leap out of our comfort zones so that we can go on the great adventure with Him! Staying in our comforts robs us of the sweet promises He has in store for us and for the kingdom:) Great encouragement!

  15. Your words resonate with what I sense God calling me to do... praying for both of us to follow where He leads...Thank you, Jen :)

  16. I thought of exactly that when the boys and I saw We Bought a Zoo last weekend. I would have said, "Oh no! Come back tomorrow when we clear the tree!" I don't think it would have occurred to me to help the people through the tree (there's a metaphor in there somewhere!).

    BTW,I cried my way through most of that movie. Unbalanced much?

  17. And now you are speaking my language :). Stepping out--to the side, around...looking for Him--this is what Playdates is all about! Love this, Jen. Especially loved hearing your laughter on the video :).

  18. Awesome post Jen. God is definitely the author of adventure.

  19. I saw the word spoiler alert for the zoo movie, so I skipped over a big chunk of what you had to say here. :) ... I'll need to pop over and read the rest after we watch the movie! I had hoped to go to it last weekend, but our daughters picked the Chipmunks instead. :( I have a feeling the zoo movie is much, much better.

  20. Beautiful correlations... On an adventure right now of getting past illness and finding a new job after 26 yrs in one company, and looking to Him to open doors. Your words give me heart.



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