Thursday, April 22, 2010


Life is an adventure. Or so they say. But, it sure does not feel like an adventure from my desk. Trapped in front of a computer for eight hours a day, five days a week, writing reports, memoranda, and preparing charts. I have a good job, don’t get me wrong. But I clearly remember proclaiming in high school that I would never, ever have a desk job. Too boring. I always thought that I would live life to the max. I used to dream of traveling to foreign lands seeking adventure. Racing the Paris-Dakar. Riding a bicycle across Europe. Racing the Baja 1000. Or at least join the Marines. This is what I perceived to be freedom. To pursue adventure with no burdens, no strings attached, no serious commitments. How far did I get into my pursuit of adventure? Not very far.

What happened? How did I end up here? It did not happen overnight. It was a gradual process. Slowly, but surely, as I grew up and matured the burdens of life started to choke my dreams of adventure. It all started when I made a commitment. I fell in love with a girl in High School. She became my dream and I compromised on my pursuit of adventure. I rationalized that I should have some one to share the adventure with. We talked about going to Europe, backpacking together, moving to a desolate tropical island and race rally cars together, I would drive and she would provide the pace notes.

As for the adventure part, it did not go well. I followed her to college. We submerged ourselves into school so we could graduate early and hopefully start our adventure. Upon graduation we both started to work, got married, and subsequently bought a house. We could not afford the rally car or the trip to Europe anymore. And even if we could afford it, we did not have the time anymore. We were too busy with work. Regardless, I tried my hardest to seek adventure. Throughout our early marriage I raced motorcycles, BMX, and cars. We would load the pick up truck, drive to the race track and spend the weekend racing and sleeping in a tent. It was fun, but reality set in when we could not afford it anymore. Truthfully, I was average and made no money racing. It was a just a black hole, sucking money and time. It got too hard to do every weekend, and slowly the pursuit of what was an already dying dream ended. Five years into our marriage, we had settled for trips to Florida, instead of backpacking Europe or riding my bike on weekends, instead
of pursuing a racing career.

Life became predictable, the beginning of the end for someone seeking adventure. Bigger job opportunities came up and with them came more money. Of course that meant more responsibility, a bigger house, new cars, and ultimately kids. I now have a huge mortgage and a 30 year school loan. I live in the suburbs, have three kids, two dogs, a savings account, a 401K, health insurance, life insurance, and drive a station wagon. I do not own a motorcycle anymore, my wife drives the soccer mom SUV and we have not traveled to Europe. So here I am surrounded with all the trappings of a suburban life. Am I upset? Do I have any regrets? Actually, no. While it may not be as glamorous as traveling through Europe, or riding a motorcycle wide-open across the desert. My suburban life is actually a bigger adventure. How is that, you may ask? How can living a mundane, predictable suburban life be an adventure?

You see, along the way my definition of what is an “adventure” changed. What I called “adventure” was nothing more than the pursuit of an adrenaline fix, an attempt at getting away from reality. What I was seeking was not adventure but an escape. A lot like the reason why people immerse themselves in entertainment, or use alcohol and drugs, to escape reality because they are unhappy or unsatisfied with their life.

Many of us yearn for an adventure that is grand, heroic, and apparently beyond our reach. But, your apparently mundane suburban family life is actually an adventure, fraught with potentially disastrous or gloriously heroic outcomes. I did not realize this until my eyes were opened to the fact that that this world is temporary and we live with a yearning for our real home, heaven. We all have a yearning for something bigger than us, some fulfill it with consumerism, others with adventure, others do drugs or have affairs, some pursue fame or wealth, but it is all fruitless. Nothing on this earth can fulfill our yearning to be in the presence of God. The day I realized that I was a sinner with no hope of recovery and that the only solution to my condition was what Jesus did for me on the Cross, was the day that the adventure I always sought really started. Yes, looking from the outside I still live a mundane suburban life, but thanks to how Christ has changed me, every day is now an adventure. Not an escape from reality, but reality itself.

First, I live every day looking forward to being in the presence of my Savior, therefore I try to live an Honorable and Heroic daily life. A lot like an ideological medieval Knight or a Samurai. Trying to live life with an Honor code straight out of the bible. I try to take the high road, not the easy way out. I try to be humble, help others, put myself last. I try to stand up for the righteous, and stand up to the wicked. Is not that what the heroes in the movies do? (I say “I try” because in this sinful body it is not an easy thing to do)

Second. I now view myself as a Provider, a Shepherd, and a Warrior. A King who provides and protects his kingdom. As a father, God has given me a flock to guard, protect, & provide for. My wife and children trust and rely on me to protect them from evil and to provide them with shelter, clothing and their daily necessities. They rely on me go to work early in the morning and to come home every night after a hard day’s work. When they hear a sound in the night, it is up to me to grab my sword (it’s usually more like a baseball bat) and go check it out. Like a good Shepherd it is up to me to protect them from Wolves, Bears and Lions. Not just physically, but also spiritually. Let me ask you fathers, how many times have your children drawn you with a crown on your head and a sword on your side, like a King or a Knight? If you are doing your fatherly duties as onto the Lord, I am sure they have done it many times.

Third. As a spouse you are to Love your wife. Love is not the mess they call love on TV, the Movies, or Hollywood. Love is a choice, it is a decision. That may not sound romantic, but believe me that is what your spouse wants. She want’s to be assured that you have chosen her. That you have chosen her over others. That you have chosen to provide for her. That you have chosen to protect her, and that you have chosen to be by her side. Remember that oath you took? In the good and the bad, in sickness and in health, in wealth or poor. Sounds a lot like the oath a Knight takes before his King! Emotions change, you fall in and out of feelings. Like the movie stars who marry, divorce and marry, as their feelings change. A Knight makes a decision and sticks to it because he is a Man of Honor. Believe me, there is no honor in leaving your wife or children for another woman. That is a sign of weakness. Like a Shepherd who runs away from the wolf leaving his sheep behind to be killed and eaten.

Finally, as a subject of the Kingdom of Heaven I am also a Priest to my family. I am to teach them and guide them in the ways of the Lord. I am to model Christ (as far as I am able in my sinful body). I am to teach my sheep about their maker. I am to lead them in the right path and show them how to eat from his pastures and drink his living water. I am not to lead them astray.

Isn’t life an adventure? As a Christian every day you are in a battle, shield and sword in hand. The daily battle is harder than any adventure you may have imagined. In a sense it is harder to wake up on a Monday, obey God, and to go to work to provide for your family, than to wake up and go on a bicycle ride, kayak trip, hunting, etc...

Choose to live a real adventure, follow Christ and fulfill your role as a King, Shepherd, Warrior, and Provider.

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget the "watchman" (Ez 34)-- who warns of trouble to come. If the watchman fails to warn, the blood is on his hands; if the watchman dispenses his duty, it's on those who've been warned.