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As I sit here and write, today is like most days for me. I enjoy my job and I am so grateful for it, but I often struggle to see anything extraordinary in my daily responsibilities. Much the same when I get home; I rarely feel the significance of unloading the dishwasher again or putting yet another load of laundry in the washer. I’ve often looked back during times of quiet reflection and thought, Have I done anything significant for the Kingdom this week? Am I doing anything significant with my life?
Do you share this struggle? Do you long for a life of adventure, and do you find yourself envious of the perfectly instagrammed experiences you see in your social feeds everyday – a clear indication everyone’s leading a much more significant, exciting life than you, right?
I think if we were to share this struggle with Jesus, he might ask us to look inside our hearts to see if we’ve made adventure an idol. This ‘idol of adventure’ is what Relevant.com writer Warren Perry has written about in today’s trending piece, Have We Made Adventure an Idol? It’s worth reading, particularly if you struggle with always chasing “the next big thing.”
Warren writes, “I’ve recently been reflecting on one particular idol in my life, which I think a lot of people can relate to: the idol of adrenaline or “adventure”—the need for all things new, the drive to have an “exciting,” instagrammable life.”
He goes on to say, “Instead of learning to wait patiently, I allow myself to become emotionally stirred in the moment. I get frustrated and bored.”
“To put it another way, many of us have lost our fascination with the ordinary. Foundational to the idol of “adventure” is a deep craving for newness, creativity and significance.”
I can relate to so much of what Warren writes here. And this attitude bleeds into my spiritual life, making me feel like I’m not really “living for God” if I’m not doing something radical for the Kingdom everyday, like saying yes to every ministry opportunity that comes my way.
And yet, it really is in the mundane, everyday moments of life that God does his best work on our souls. We long for mountaintop experiences, those euphoric feelings of closeness and connectedness to God, and we falsely believe these are the moments “worth living for.”
But we are made to live most of life in the valley, not the mountaintop. It’s in the valley that we learn what it means to be patient in the slog of life, learn what it means to trust when the path is narrow and dark, learn what it means to choose to keep loving when everything in us wants to walk away. It’s in the daily doing of the dishes and the folding of the laundry and the commute into work that God chips away at our self-centeredness and, if we let him, gives us a heart of humble service for those around us. In other words, it’s in the valley where we cultivate the fruit of the Spirit, where we learn to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Crosswalk writer Jennifer Slatterly writes this about finding meaning in the mundane: “In those quiet moments where the choice to persevere overrides the desire to run. With each difficult encounter, we have a choice: to seek out the easy, safe, self-protecting path wrought with temporary pleasures, or to stand firm in faith and character, regardless of what God allows to come our way.”
Warren Perry echoes these thoughts, writing, “We need to remember that God is in everything, and in Him is true adventure. Revelation 21:5 and 2 Corinthians 5:17 both remind us that God is the ultimate newness that our earthly cravings point toward. If we choose to slow down and stop forcing adventure, we realize how God is orchestrating our environment for us in an exciting way so that we (His children) can know and enjoy Him (our father) more.”
Life in the valley may not offer the same thrilling views and spiritual highs as our mountaintop adventures, but it does give us a more lasting satisfaction: a verdant land where the righteous are,
“like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1)
Lord, help me see the adventures on the mountaintop for what they really are: beautiful, but fleeting. Help me long for a life deeply rooted in You and abounding in fruit that comes from a life lived faithfully, even in the mundane.
iBelieve.com: Following My Dreams vs Raising a Family - Rebekah Lyons from ibelievedotcom on GodTube.
Kelly Givens is the editor of iBelieve.com.