It's the end of the day, the kiddo's in bed, the hubby asleep on the overstuffed couch beside me. The television runs in the background of this week's episode of House Hunters. I grab a couple dark chocolates from the kitchen cupboard and settle in to a short-lived time to rest – before I conk out myself.
But, I am restless. Is there not more to life than getting here and getting there, making a buck, keeping a toddler on a routine? Is there not more to look forward to than this week's college football game, a short non-consequential conversation with my husband each day, my pillow hitting the bed at night? Where is the adventure that I dreamed of a decade ago? Where is the passion? The life that is bigger than myself? The risks? Where is the peace amongst my unsettledness?
Maybe I need a vacation? Maybe I should participate in an organization helping those in need? Or perhaps begin some kind of business venture…or a ministry?!
The next's day's drive to work is no less thrilling. Risky, maybe…but not quite the adventure I am looking for. I survive the traffic and climb the stairs to my desk on the second floor of the building; there, I check my cell phone one last time before dropping it in to the drawer for the day. I happen to glance at, and then read, a quote. For me, the words seem to culminate in my heart and mind a web of godly illustrations, sermons and radio broadcasts that God has been graciously sending me over the past few days. The Spirit speaks: the adventure, the risk, the passion – it is all already here. It is right in front of you.
It is in the risk you take to truly care about your co-workers, rather than withdrawing for fear of rejection. It is in giving all of your concentration and energies to your son instead of holding back so that you don't get too tired. It is in giving to your husband when it just doesn’t seem “fair”. It is in giving your all in every part of life instead of hiding from mockery, being run-over, weariness and being uncomfortable.
Every single moment of each and every day, my own influence is having an impact on lives right before me, and even-more-so, lives in the future. The impact is not neutral – ever. It is a noble influence, or an unholy one. No matter where I go – whether I want to be there or not, whether the situation seems to me to be meaningful or not, whether I am comfortable or "suffering", my actions and non-actions are influencing people's thoughts and hearts. The choice between being willing to pour out everything I have, or to insist on protecting myself, will result in influencing someone’s heart – for better or worse. As will all of yours.
Who goes on an adventure and expects to have it easy? To retreat to land at the first hunger pang? Whose life is bigger than herself that protects her pride and withholds part (at least) of her time, money, energy and concentration from the ones she is given to influence in this very moment?
Will I choose to look out for myself? To protect myself? To run from the uncomfortable?
What, then, to do with the fear, the exhaustion, the pain, the running-over of myself when it inevitably happens? We all know: It. Will. Happen.
“And my God will give you everything you need….” Philippians 4:19
He is the only One with unlimited resources, rest, love and comfort. He is the only way that I can pour out myself, to deplete all of me, and still be sustained and have peace. He will meet my needs. He will meet all of our needs.
And in the end, we get the adventure of a lifetime.