The Adventurous Spirit
So, apparently I'm adventurous. I'm so lucky I learn new things about myself every day. You see, several people have recently been saying how adventurous I am. And maybe this isn't even worth a blog post. But how do you know who someone really is? Not to get too introspective her. But, it isn't always by how they act. Many people lie or do the ever increasing divorce rates, crimes, and lawsuits not depict that already? Oftentimes it isn't even what they say. Sure how they act and what they say can tip you in a general direction but that only accounts for a tiny, tiny bit.
I guess what a lot of people think of as daring is different from my own view. Yeah, I have traveled. I've gotten to go to all sorts of places, through the Lord's blessing. And I have been able to have some pretty crazy experiences, if you count getting stranded in Italy. I'm not saying anything new by saying that traveling and doing unique things can provide a lot of opportunities. Of course it does. But who needs hundreds of opportunities? For the dating sort, it's like saying you want to peruse through hundreds of different guys or girls. But you only need one. For the cooking sort, it's like saying you want hundreds of Tilapia to make dinner for yourself tonight. You only need one. God directs the path into as many or as few opportunities as you see. He provides them and he takes them away. Some think that they are stranded living in a small town. All I can think to say is bless you. Be thankful your number of opportunities has been handpicked down to a select number of good ones. The more space and people the more opportunity for error. Sorry, this topic has made its way down a rabbit hole.
Getting back to my initial point, you may not know people by how they appear. Hearing my plans to travel to Japan, living on my own in a foreign country, or living in a basement of people I met on craigslist. Those things may sound all crazy, but they're just choices. For my path, God led me here for a short while. I'm having trouble thinking of which point I want to focus on first. Maybe it's how I want people to stop feeling guilty for living in a small town, or going to the same small job for years. That's definitely part of it. For me, when I started sharing my plans to go to Japan the people around me seemed so excited and several would comment on things they had always wanted to do but never could. But my life isn't meant to be exciting. It is meant to glorify God. And I would love to do that in my hometown at a small job living a small quiet life. And maybe I'll get there at some point. Maybe in a couple months, or maybe never.
But to everyone out there, enjoy your life. Be where you are. A good friend of mine named Nicole once told me a famous quote, "grow where you are planted." And if God gives you the opportunity to do something you've always longed for, go for it.
Don't give people the illusion that traveling is a great life and staying in one town if looked down on. I keep thinking how much I long to invest in one place, in one people, in one mission. To not feel so scattered that I can't control my thoughts and decisions as I move from town to town from one job to another. I'd love to have a dog, to grow a garden, to know my area so well I can give others directions to the best bike trail. But I'm not there. And the only thing that keeps me centered is Christ. It sounds all religious I know for those of you out there without a God. But, I'm completely serious. Instead of a guy that plays with emotions or a job that will always leave you feeling empty, God is the only true anchor. Here's some proof. I'm a travel nurse. I don't have tons of experience and I only know a little bit in comparison to so many other medical professionals. I do know, without any doubt, that if God took me to Sante Fe, Bismark, or a tiny city no ones even heard of (and that's meant to sound boring, not exciting) I would be just fine. No matter where I go I have that one anchor. Any other born again believer knows exactly what I mean. There's no fear when you know that there is a God who listens to your prayers and talks to you through life and the Bible. There is no fear because God took it away when He promised a relationship with him. But that is each person's choice.
Another facet to this is that I'm nowhere near adventurous. Have you read the Bible? I'm not even as interesting as Ezekiel and many don't even know who he is. And why do people look at doing crazy things as a good thing? Yes, I agree. In John 4:18 we read there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. And in Timothy we read For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind. Not being fearful is oftentimes exchanged for doing stupid things like jumping from a plane or saying something you'll regret. However, casting out fear isn't always the same as doing crazy things.
For example, I had to push past my fear when I was scared to make small talk with some old school friends. No one around me was aware that I was battling this fear. And it certainly wasn't a crazy thing to do. And this is the most interesting part, no one had any clue if I was on the winning side of my battles or the losing side. No one except my anchor.
So I guess my point after all of this, stop trying to be adventurous or daring. Just put away your fear. And live in Christ who gave you and me life. And are you one the winning side or the losing side of your fears? Only you and one other knows.