Being embraced by the journey doesn’t necessarily mean that all of life is going to be an exciting adventure. I believe in living an adventurous life, but that doesn’t make every day unusual and new.
Instead, living an adventurous journey oftentimes means persevering and engaging in the quiet. Yet, this description isn’t the escapade that the world wants us to pursue.
During a time of prayer with our community group last night, we discussed how instead of giving attention to our emotions, we run ragged, filling days with more to-do’s as an escape. Because if we’re too busy to think then our lives must have meaning, right?
Of course the other side of this extreme is a society that also tells us to only give credence to our emotions. If it’s uncomfortable, it must be wrong. If it feels good, do it.
Yet somewhere between these two extremes is a journey into the quiet, the stillness. It’s uncomfortable. It’s necessary.
I know I would rather ride waves of a thrilling adventure that others can visibly detect. Yet, sometimes we’re called into the calm waters, which can feel more disruptive than the waves. It’s here where you discover a different adventure. One that requires you to wrestle with your identity and search for the quiet answers to those questions that bubble up when you’re still: What is my identity in? What is my main purpose in life?
When we let them, the quiet times in life yield an adventurous journey into trust. Do I trust that I am a daughter of The King? Do I know that He has a purpose for me?
“He does have surprising, secret purposes. I open a Bible, and His plans, startling, lie there barefaced. It’s hard to believe it, when I read it, and I have to come back to it many times, feel long across those words, make sure they are real. His love letter forever silences any doubts: “His secret purpose framed from the very beginning [is] to bring us to our full glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7 NEB).” ― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
Are we willing to be still enough – am I willing to sit in the quiet – and let this truth sink in? Am I still enough to hear the whisper of this secret purpose?
It was such a blessing this past weekend for John and I to have a weekend getaway in the North Carolina mountains. Rain all day on Saturday “forced” us to spend a wonderful, relaxing day inside, embracing the quiet except for the crackle of the fire. This stillness allowed us to spend time in the Word, relaxing by the fire (in cozy PJ’s and fuzzy socks!), reading (I am currently reading the 900-page yet awesome book Team of Rivals about Lincoln), and cooking together.
Sunday ushered in beautiful sunshine that we took full advantage of with a game of tennis and an afternoon hike. We were the only ones on the trail …probably because the first 30 minutes we accidentally got off the trail and were scaling through thorny vines, fallen tree trunks, and mud until we finally decided to turn around. Somehow we’d missed the initial turn for the actual trail, which was much easier to hike once we found it! By that time everyone else we’d seen had finished the hike, so we enjoyed the quiet of the canopy of trees around us. However, by the time we found the correct trail, we had to book it up the mountain so we could make it back to Atlanta in time to pick up my car from getting worked on.
The quick pace was worth it, though. When we got to the summit, the views were stunning. The cool breeze and visibility for miles was a picture of the peace and beauty that quiet can bring.
Today, quiet your heart if it’s beating hard from the fast pace that you’re running. Or if life is quieter for you right now, dig into why God has you here, rather than trying to distract yourself from the calm. Embrace the stillness and be willing to engage in it.