I just finished “Through Painted Deserts” by Donald Miller and although it was a great book part of me felt a deep sense of regret while reading it. In the book Miller details an exciting and adventurous journey that he takes with a friend while they road trip from Texas to Oregon in an old Volkswagen van. He and his friend Paul have almost no money so their meals tend to be less than appetizing and they have plenty of trouble with their dilapidated vehicle. Through the journey they both discover a lot about their faith as well as each other and have an experience of a lifetime.
I have never experienced anything like that before. Sure I took road trips in high school and college and have in the past few years but they have all been planned out and the only true adventure that happened was what happened when our trip slightly deviated from our detailed plan. I feel that I have reached a point in life where it is not possible to go on a trip like that even in the short term. Bills and insurance and all of the other responsibilities of life tend to get in the way of doing something like that and it is honestly not practical. I love where my life is at now and I would not trade it for anything but I do wish that I had a memory like this to recall upon.
The more I have thought about this however, the more I realize that my life is more of an adventure than I would have ever predicted. I never saw my life turning out the way it has and I never imagined I would be as happy as I am now. Truth be told, if I did go on some unplanned road trip in a beat up car I would be worried the entire time that disaster would strike at any moment and I would be stranded with no money. I probably wouldn’t even enjoy it…and that’s OK.
Adventure for me has been navigating through my professional career after college. It has not been easy but it has definitely been worth it. Leaving a job is not easy. It is really hard. Leaving a job you like for an unknown opportunity takes faith and can be quite an adventure. Pushing yourself to roll out of bed in the morning when you are anxious about your day, that is an adventure. As Mark Batterson says, “sleepless nights define our lives.” You don’t remember those nights where you went to bed with contentment you remember those nights where you could not close your eyes because you were nervous to wake up in the morning because of the unknown. The biggest adventures in my life have been the ones that have chosen me. But following my desires and choosing to not be satisfied with average has taught me more than any road trip could and it has been quite an adventure. Knowing that God has specifically placed me in every situation and trusting in faith that He knows what is best for me is what gives me peace along the journey.
“Life is not a problem to be solved, it is an adventure to be lived.” – John Eldredge