The other day a girlfriend and I decided to take an adventure day trip to the bluffs at Palos Verdes. We are the least two likely people to take an unplanned adventure, but heroically we managed to end up in one (and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves).
As we sat at the end of the hike, out on the rocks by the tide pools with the waves crashing and the sound of the rocks tumbling in the water's movement we realized we both ended up exactly where we needed to be.
Both of us had long weeks, for different reasons, and we were both tired. But we decided to come together, celebrate the good things happening in our lives, to share the things that are still difficult, inspite of our energy levels. We came without plans or agendas or expectations, and we ended up right where we needed to be: at the beach, by the water, sitting in connected silence, and intermittent conversation.
After I thought about the phenomenon of we two planners adventuring and ending up in a place that was healing. I realized we had to risk to get there (we didn't know where we were exactly heading). We wouldn't have ended up there without one another (I wouldn't have hiked as far alone, she may not have headed north). And through following our instincts our souls were fed.
I wonder, had we planned our excursion if we would have returned as rested? Or would we have worn ourselves out further? Maybe or not. Either way, there is something beautiful for me in the idea of us stumbling together into exactly what was so life giving.
I grew up in a home that was highly risk adverse. You went with the sure thing. You stretched only as far as you could while keeping a foot on solid ground. You follow the map, traveled the path, listened to the reasonable way.
There is nothing wrong with this way of life. But it doesn't lead to adventure.
In the past few years my life has been an incredible, painful, wonderful, surprising, awe-inspiring journey. I've got cuts and bruises, sure. I've also had the time of my life and wouldn't trade it for anything.
What I'm pondering today is what life Jesus is calling us to: the life of adventure, or the life of safety. Given how often the disciples faced sheer terror and life viscerally I feel he took them on the path of transformation, the route of adventure.
We can't leave one foot on the shore while trying to cross a river, or stay on the sand when setting sail. We have to risk getting swept away. The beautiful irony I see there is, what if getting taken hold of by the water and floating down stream is the best thing for us? Maybe even fun? Like the sharp rocks are sanded and shaped by the moving water, maybe we are transformed by the risks we take?
Jesus, give me the courage to get in the water, look forward, and get swept away in your transforming love and mercy. Make me who you created me to become. Help me live today trusting you are the water, you are the wave, you are the current -- un-tame and holding me at the same time.