Nothing stirs the soul like a good adventure. A good adventure can fill you full of all that life has to offer, sharpen your awareness to a keener edge, invigorate your senses, and expand your physical and mental capacities. What is it about adventure that can touch each of us so deeply?
Understanding the answer to this question will increase your potential for personal growth and position you for leadership within your sphere of influence.
Adventure is available to you in many different contexts, yet the following aspects of adventure define the core elements that release its transformative power over your life.
The 5 Core Elements of the Adventure Experience
An adventure will lead you into the unknown. You are wise to plan and prepare for the experience, but you do not know what lies in store. You will have to rely on your wits, your strength, and your previous experience in order to navigate the journey as it develops before you. In the midst of it all you will grow. It is this process of personal growth that will energize and expand your soul.
In Christ, we all know where we are going, yet none of us know how we will get there. Life is the adventure of living. It is on this adventure that we learn about who He is and who we are in His eyes.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2–4, NASB)
The ultimate adventure of your life, what the Bible calls sanctification, is all about you becoming more like Him. To this adventure “… you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands (Isaiah 55:12, NASB).”
There is no hiding on an adventure. You will be fully exposed to the elements and to your fellow adventurers. It is this aspect of adventure, calling you out of your comfort zone, that threatens your soul. This threat will require you to respond by overriding your soul’s desire to protect itself. In this context that you will experience fear. Overcoming this fear will lead you to a deeper understanding of who you are, what you are capable of, and what you can contribute to the cause.
The emotion of fear is caused, in part, by our experiencing a lack of control over the things to which we are exposed. We must learn to always be creatively contributing to your surroundings for the benefit of others, not trying to control them for your own purposes. We are designed to be contributors, not controllers.
The only thing we can control is our attitude. An adventure will challenge us with many unforeseeable events. Each will challenge our ability to maintain an attitude of joy and peace. In Him, all things are possible.
You only discover the outcome of your actions after you act. This becomes very evident in the pursuit of an adventure. An adventure will require you to act quickly, using your emotional intuition more than your mind. You will have to “go with your gut.”
Taking a risk requires us to act in the presence of a significant consequence. In taking a risk, we do not ignore the consequence—that would indeed be foolishness. Instead we seek to minimize the consequence and operate in spite of its presence. The late John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard movement, had a favorite saying: “You spell faith, r-i-s-k.” The Lord knows what we are capable of. It is our task to discover our capabilities in Him. This happens as we break through preconceived barriers by taking risks.
A risk is impossible to take without trust. You cannot risk without first putting your trust in what you know is secure. Conversely, taking a risk is also the only way to build your trust. An adventure will provide you with many opportunities to trust your intuition, your instincts, your abilities, and your partners. By exercising trust, you will develop good judgment, which in turn, will increase your ability to trust.
Trust is an emotional response. We cannot intellectualize trust. We can believe with our minds, but we must trust with our emotions. Trust requires an “all-in” stance. This is why trust requires risk. We can be let down by the one in whom we have placed our trust. Yet, trust is the way relationships are built and endure. A relationship built upon trust will weather the toughest storm. Ultimately, our trust is in the Lord.
Your partners on the adventure will become your best friends. The experience that you share together will be yours forever. The outcomes will always stand. The personal growth you experience will always be a part of who you are. There is no faster and deeper way to bond with another person than to experience an adventure together.
An adventure requires two or more people to rely on each other. Teamwork is necessary to ensure a successful outcome. Each member of the team will be required to make unselfish contributions when necessary.
The adventure is accomplished together. Everyone has a vital role to play. Everyone shares responsibility for the outcomes. Everyone rejoices in the success of the team. Everyone takes away a story to tell of how the team persevered until the end. No one outside the team actually shares the experience of the adventure. The personalized memory of the adventure creates a tight bond between those who experienced it together.
Think of your last true adventure. How were these aspects present together? Is it time for your next adventure? Who will you take with you?