Trip or Adventure?

Written by cycleguy on November 18th, 2010

Have you ever gone on a trip but missed the adventure?  Back in 1993 our oldest daughter graduated from high school.  We decided, almost at the last minute, to go on a trip out west.  I had been to Estes Park, Colorado in May to a Dynamic Speaker’s Workshop (Ken Davis) and was enraptured by Colorado.  So, in an effort to share my “enrapturement” (I know that is not a word) with my family, I thought it would be cool to “Go West Young Man!”  We took off from Terre Haute, IN and traveled to Denver & Coors Field to watch a baseball game.  The next day we headed for Seattle and some friends.  We took in some fantastic scenery (that flew by in a whirl) and four days later we took in another baseball game at the Kingdome, home of the Mariners.  We then made our way back through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois and finally, home.  We literally buzzed by sites that we should have visited.  We had to by-pass Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore due to time, lodging (none) and that ever-present demon…money.  We did go through the Badlands but it was so cold we shivered through our packed lunch (this was in July).  The highlight I suspect was our surprise visit to Dyersville, Iowa, the site of the movie “Field of Dreams.”  Tami, our oldest, was a big “FOD” and baseball fan so that was fun.  Two weeks and 5025 miles later we pulled into our driveway.  Trust me when I say we took a trip but missed the adventure.

Life is often like that.  We focus so much on just making it through life that we lose sight of the journey and adventure it can be.  This coming week will be the advent of Thanksgiving and what is typically called the “holiday season.”  Translation: run around like a chicken with your head cut off buying, baking, buying, shopping, buying, smiling…well you get the picture.   How often have you and I run rough shod through this season and missed the journey and adventure it can be?   Personally, I want Thanksgiving to be more than a day on the calendar.  I want it to be a lifestyle.  I want the “spirit” of Christmas to be more than a period between two holidays.  I want it to ooze out of me on a daily basis…24/7/365.

For this last message in the series I called “In This Corner,” I will be pitting Justice versus Deceit and Generosity  versus Selfishness.   Both Justice and Generosity require much of us.  From the words in Micah 6:8 that say, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” to the flames of generosity that fire through the pages of Scripture (“It is better to give than to receive” is just one of them), those actions require our attention.  We simply cannot dismiss them!!  But to be an advocate of both (or even just one) will require that we embrace the adventure of following Jesus to rescue the ones caught in the lies of deceit and selfishness.  Fulfillment is found in freedom from slavery and freedom from “me first” living.

Has God convicted you of the need for justice, mercy and faithfulness?  Has he shown you the importance of laying aside your wants to consider the needs of those who have less?  I would love to hear your story. In the meantime, I want to thank you for praying for me.  This series has opened some wounds in me that only the salve of the Holy Spirit can heal.  Thanks again to Dan for the banner.  Can’t wait for you to see the next one!!  😛  Have a great weekend and a fantastic time of worship with your church community.


24 Comments so far ↓

  1. jeff says:

    I prefer something other than the word “convicted” It requires disambiguation so as not to think I am a convict. Which is not a positive way to think about myself. Either way, whether convicted or convinced, I think empathy, caring, etc are inate within us all. We were designed with those qualities hard wired. Even animals exhibit a certain amount of warning devises and signals to assist others of their species. We can, through greed, selfishness, etc. try to mask it and if we are completely successful in eliminating those feelings we are sociopaths.

    • cycleguy says:

      Jeff: I use the word convicted to mean “stabbed in the heart” with truth or awareness of what should be. Sorry about the disambiguation that you have to do. 🙂 I am not totally on board that it is innate in us to be empathetic, etc but I haven’t thought it completely through. but I do appreciate your comment.

  2. Jim F. says:

    I have done the same with trips – I look back and see so much I missed out on because of silly things that seemed so important at the time.

    Those are both tough fights – Justice vs. Deceit and Generosity vs. selfishness. You are defiantly right that to follow through with Justice and Generosity bring about a sense of adventure. I pray even now that the Lord would move in a mighty way Sunday!

    God Bless my friend!

    • cycleguy says:

      Jim:Thanks so much for your comment and prayers. Confronting injustice and selfishness is not always the easiest thing to do. You, of course, are in my prayers.

  3. Michael says:

    Praying as always Bill.

  4. Tom Raines says:

    Yes, I have been convicted. I still still have to focus on some of the twists and turns of the journey but he path is straight. There are adventures in those turns that are helping to make the path straight! Praying Bill and know you will change lives with your message!

    • cycleguy says:

      Hey Tom: can’t express how “proud” I am of your commitment to follow Jesus no matter where the journey takes you. Thanks so much for praying for me as well.

      • This post brings to mind a lesson I was taught early-on as a believer.

        It sounds cliche, but…it makes a whole heck of a lotta sense if you really think about it:

        When bad things happen, the immature person thinks, “Why are You doing this to me, LORD?”

        The mature person, however, thinks, “What is it You are trying to teach me, LORD?”

        It took years, but I was finally one day able to become the second person and I began to consider each “bad” thing that happened as a “teachable moment”, straight from my Father to me.

        My two cents.

  5. Love that Scripture in Micah 6:8…it’s one I try to implant on my sons. It’ a great one for life’s journey and adventure with the Lord.

    Thanks Bill!

    • cycleguy says:

      Jay: that Scripture is often forgotten, I think, because it is in the OT. That is too bad for us. Love that you have tried to guide your sons in that way. Thanks for the comment. Have a great weekend!

  6. lindaM says:

    Hi Bill,
    …”what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, …” Micah 6:8
    I look at this verse as personal. Intended by God to be individual in its exhortaion. We need to do justice in our own lives and in our dealings and conduct with others. I don’t think of this justice as confrontational toward others, or as socially activist. I look at this scripture more as being fair, honest, and equitable with others.

    The Bible says that mercy triumphs over justice. James 2:12,13 This justice being the judgment for our wrongs and sins that we have committed.
    I think there is lots of challenge in just our ordinary lives living and working in the world today without going out looking for trouble so to speak. As the world darkens, trouble will come to us.

    I think for this reason I will be very careful about the job I choose. The menial jobs are the easiest to do in the world without being asked to compromise and be complicit in wrongdoing and injutice by coworkers and superiors over us. Jobs that are more individually performed are better for me I have found.

    For someone with 15 years into a career with the realization that all could be lost by one decision to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to injustice is extremely challenging. This adventure with Jesus could be very costly. But one that has to be chosen to be a part of the Kingdom.

    • cycleguy says:

      Linda: I too see justice as something we are personally responsible in our lives. On a wider scale I leave that and the discussion up to others. That is not my style. You are right also in that it can be extremely challenging, especially to be involved in a job that is counter to our beliefs. Thanks for the comment.

  7. David says:

    I was in Estes last week (live in Golden). What you said is so true “We focus so much on just making it through life that we lose sight of the journey and adventure…”

    I am so focused, that I can’t see!

    • cycleguy says:

      David: Welcome to my blog! I saw that you came by way of High Calling. Cool! I hope to be able to “visit” with you more often. Estes is a beautiful place. Thanks for coming by and commenting.

  8. jasonS says:

    Just have a moment, but great thoughts, Bill. Praying for you as well.

  9. Stan says:

    In a similar analogy, we really miss the journey simply to get to an end product. We went to (blank), but we were to stressed to enjoy it. Still, we went. Check it off the list. I often feel this way on Sunday mornings. I get too wrapped up in the task but I miss the journey of coming alongside people. Great story, Bill. Thanks for sharing. Lots to remember and keep in mind.

    • cycleguy says:

      Stan: great thought about missing the journey for the end product. Man, that is so true. Being a pastor does lead to busyness on Sunday and sometimes missing the people. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Looking forward to your new site.

  10. Ike says:

    Some people lean so hard on justice they have no place for mercy. Some do the opposite… mercy minimizes justice. One key to the Christian life is the spiritual wisdom to know when and how to apply both. Praying.

  11. Ike says:

    Zechariah 7:9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10 do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” 11 But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. 12 They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts.

    As you read the end of the Old Testament, watch for how often the Lord challenges His people to display justice in their dealings with each other. By this time in history, God’s people had become rascals. You can see in Zech. 7:9-10 that God expects His people to display a heart that has been radically transformed. Notice how much God cares for those we would call less fortunate. Verse 10 lists four social groups that had no rights and no real opportunity for success in society. God loved us enough that He changed us so we could love others. When Christ saved us, He saved us to be the kinds of people listed. Thankfully, He also gave us ears that could hear His instruction (cf. v. 12).

    • lindaM says:

      Hi Ike,
      I hope you will be ok with me putting in my 2 cents worth to your comment about being saved by God to become the kinds of oppressed people groups talked about in Zechariah 7.

      I think that the Bible teaches more often that we come from these kind of groups when we are saved by God, not that we end up as being these groups of people. I Corinthians 1:26 to verse 31.

      Although this can happen. The book of Acts shows that in Jerusalem the disciples of Jesus Christ were oppressed and persecuted by the Jews to the point of being in want (in that place) for their necessary provisions.
      Many times successful people of the world tell of their salvation in Christ after their fall from the ‘heights’ of the world.

      What we have in Christ, I believe, is a different kind of ‘heights’. We may start lowly, unlearned, ignorant men by the world’s assessment and judgement but in Christ we become much more than the world’s ‘successful’ people will ever be. We rise to the heights of the heavens. The world begins to recognize, just as the Jews did in Jesus’ time, that we have wisdom, strength, courage, knowledge, about which they are perplexed.
      ‘How did they get to this place without having learned from us?” they ask. “Where does this power come from?”

      God’s people have marvelous and wonderful things prepared for them by God. We need to be willing to go on the adventure with Him where ever that trip takes us, as I believe Bill points out in his blog topic today.

      God Bless you Ike, I was blessed by your comment on Christians needing spiritual wisdom from God to know when and how to apply justice and when to apply mercy. It’s not always black and white. I will pray again for you and Carol and the family.

      love in Christ,