somewhere new, someplace safe: life after adventure

I am realizing God’s workings in my life are not some circumstantial thing — a moving of atoms to make me feel more content, happy.  They’re deeper.

I had felt the call of adventure and I joined the wagon train, propelled by some wild pioneer spirit lying long rested within me.  I tasted adventured and experienced my own capacity and capability for my own bravery and trust.  I left the homestead with little expectation of what I’d find, and what I discovered was my inner well of strength, tenacity, gentleness, and love.

But my eureka moment’s gone now, just a treasury of memories I worry people are tired of hearing about.  How do you keep an adventure alive when you feel as though you bore people with what’s inside you?  It doesn’t take long for people to grow weary of the same outlaw tales you keep retelling in a desperate attempt of reliving.  You keep stoking a fire from which others have long moved on, and next thing you know you’re the sad guy in the bar with no new stories to tell.

My wagon’s broken down on the side of the road, those big wheels stuck in the mud of forgottenness.  I’m out in the rain, pushing those big, unmovable things, trying to gain momentum in a life that is increasingly still.  But they stare at me, entrenched, and I am agitated with their inability to budge.

“Move!”  I yell.  “God’s got big things in store and adventure awaits!  Move, damn it!”

But it stays stuck; a sad, broken down vessel once containing full and lovely life.

After a few weeks of coaching myself and telling myself to choose life and find holy happening even here–or better yet, make happening happen yourself.  Go make new memories!  Be bold right now!  And after all this cajoling, I’m exhausted.  I’m lying down in that covered wagon, eating, weeping.  Lonely, stuck, too tired to fend off the coyote swarms of lies and voices telling me I’m done for, no good, used up–empty.

I’m too tired to choose life, too exhausted to be bold.  Too spent for the quiet meditation that soothes me.  And it’s here I find that Jesus isn’t all that worried about getting that wagon moving; he’s much too interested in showing me he’s in this sad vessel with me.  Here he says, “My beloved, adventure isn’t out there, it’s in here.  Quiet down and rest in my love for you here.”

No, God’s not changing my outer life to fill me up again; he’s gently drawing my eyes to my inner life that was never once empty.

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