A word has been chasing me around these past few months. Sometimes it is on the tip of my tongue, or in the undertone of a conversation. Other times it bursts out in a flurry of enthusiasm and conviction. Its verb has been prompting me to do things that would have been unimaginable a year or two ago and so determined is it that even my dreams seem to lurch from one form of it to the next.
It is this
A d v e n t u r e
And it is my word for the year. This is not something I really do but the fantastic body series from wee frizz and the irrepressibility of this word in my mind and life right now have made it a bit inevitable. The pester power of adventure has worn me down: ‘Pick me!’ it has shouted with its hand up first and high.
It has caught me unawares.
These past few years have been about the small, the local, the manageable, the easy. I had a season, not so long ago, of feeling very overwhelmed by life and so survival mode was all there was. I think I began to believe it was all I was capable of; that I was made with a weaker constitution than everyone else- their backs were stronger, their energy rechargeable, they had ‘yes”s to give when all I had was ‘No, sorry. I can’t’. It became so important to be careful because I had such a sense that I was circling the drain and I desperately didn’t want to fall down the plug hole.
But you know what I discovered about the small, careful life? You’re alive but it’s really, really boring. The cocoon I had built for myself began to feel constrictive and without realising it I began to say yes to the strangest things. Yes, I will be on the youth team at Sandelfest (despite no affinity for or experience of young people). Yes I will take them coasteerring and jump off lots of rocks (with my terror of heights). Ok, maybe I’ll learn to be a runner, but I don’t know how and I was always told I was crap at sport. Or let’s take a small boat over to a scottish island for the day and cycle round it just because we can and we should. There is no logic to these choices, so out of character and left-field for me. But they all gave me a taste for risk, for learning, and an experience of joy.
They gave me a thirst for adventure.
I’ve come to the point in life where I have had several seasons now that have been dark and difficult, my burn out in 2013 the most recent. Each time I wondered if the darkness would overtake me, if my mantra of ‘this too will pass’ was just wishful thinking.
But God plants something in the soil of my darkness that always unfurls itself and stretches toward the light, bringing beauty and joy in a way I could never have imagined. Joel 2:25 says ‘I will repay you the years the locusts have eaten’ and God has kept this promise after each of my dark periods. Hope comes but often not in the shape or form we expect.
So 2015, I hereby nominate you the year of adventure. I stand, just over your threshold and already I have reason to smile, joys to anticipate, plans that make my pulse run that little bit faster:
A degree will be finished.
A career will begin.
A crazy journey will be undertaken.
A new home found.
Old friends embraced with much love.
New friends yet to be discovered.
Seas to be swum, steps to be danced.
Golden sun to bask in, new paths to run.
These feet will fly further and faster
These hands will greet and cherish
This mouth will grin and kiss and laugh
These eyes will crinkle in delight and cry with loss
And all in the company of a very good man,
watching 3 extraordinary little ones find their own joy and wisdom.
A d v e n t u r e