Friday, May 9, 2014

Pondering Adventure

The Tenth Commandment is a difficult one for me lately.  "Thou shalt not covet."  We are commanded not to covet anything belonging to our neighbor.  Does this include their experiences?  Their adventures?  Of course it does!  Gulp.

Every time I log onto Facebook or Instagram, my really cool, wanderlust (like me), totally adventurous friends have posted breathtaking photos that I simply can't help but drool over or daydream about, photos which make me get lost in my own desire for similar experiences.  Wide-eyed and wild since childhood, I firmly believe in the notion that we should make each and every second count.  When I am forced to sit still, I often daydream about a place in the world I want to see, a hand I want to hold while praying, a story that I will tell when I return ...

But when my head returns from the fancy forms of clouds, I realize that I am a mom, a wife, a woman with a career, and therefore, a person who cannot live by the whimsical principle, "The mountains are calling and I must go." (John Muir)  As much as I'm tempted to think that I should live that way, I have a blessed duty right where I am, and the only person who can hinder my adventures is me.  Likewise, I would never want an adventure that God did not put in front of me, blessing my will to go.  When He calls me, I will go, representing Him wherever those travels take me.  For now, my adventures are in and around my ever-loving heart as I learn to be more like Jesus.

My adventures may not currently include transcontinental bike rides (Go, Alyssa and Pat!!!) or exotic travel to various locations (Elicia and Tom, you rock!  I love your inspiring blog!) or mountain views all around (Adam, your life is beautiful.), but the adventures I do get to have all include great love.  I am convinced that love is the greatest adventure of all, and it doesn't matter where you are or where you go while you're discovering it.  That's the beautiful thing: love is the one true adventure that never ceases.  Even better, it never leaves you dissatisfied, and it invites more ambition.

Mother Teresa had a profound thought, which is now a famous quote: "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."  The world will tell me that what I'm doing isn't grand; it wouldn't make the cut for any verbose magazine with pretty pictures, isn't necessarily interesting enough for thousands of blog followers, and I definitely don't travel the world and encounter new cultures on a regular basis.  By looking around, I might feel that each of my days is humdrum, another drop in the bucket, a meaningless series of mindless tasks.  The world might even tell me that I am being brainwashed by it (the world),  and the only cure is to expand my mind by expanding my experiences.  The world might whisper to me that I'm not doing enough, not thinking deeply enough, not being intriguing enough...

However, the adventures of my heart are as abundant and stalwart as my very heartbeats.  I have a plethora of moments to choose from each day in which I can take bold steps, and the opportunity to learn selfless acts is one that never wanes.  Being a wife, a mom, and a teacher are all grand callings that I could never trade in, even for the most awe-inspiring view this earth has to offer.  Instead of coveting others' adventures, I must remember that God has different adventures planned for each of us. I trust in Him for all things.

I look out my bedroom window and I see woods, I hear birds, and I look at my little garden.  I wake my son each morning and see his sweet little eyes focus in on me when I say, "Good morning."  I hear the many movements of my husband and stepsons as they enjoy their various activities.  I have the attention of 7th grade students for my entire work day.  I get to run and talk about important things with youth of various ages for two seasons of the year.  I get to discuss the Bible with teen girls on Fridays, and will soon be starting a faith-based youth gathering.  Do I lack adventure?  No.  My life breathes it.  To God be the glory.